While watching the moon rise this evening (9:00 PM), I happened to notice this great blue heron glide onto the rock below the cliff. He immediately took a hunting stance watching the water. The moonrise was forgotten for the next 20 minutes or so. While I watched he made four dives into the water an was successful twice. See June Photos for video.
Three turkey Vultures.
Turkey vultures started to appear in numbers about the first of May. I've often seen four or five together in the area of Sargeant Bay.
Here, three are scouting the shoreline, 150 feet below our cliff.
Created a new gallery today.
This past week I went for my first couple of hikes in Hidden Grove. I enjoyed this open forest area. Good parking.
There are a variety of trails, including two gravelled, that are wheel chair accessible. For the others, there is still plenty of forest floor covering to cushion your steps, not many exposed roots to trip over, and little mud.
The trails are very well signed, like the one pictured here.
I did not find a toilet. I did see a hole dug close to the view point summit. Not ready for use, yet.
If you like to use a log to sit on, bring along something to keep your bum dry. I think this will be a cool place even on the hottest days of summer.
A single flipper in the air.
There was quit a bit of barking this morning. Sea Lions were passing through. I counted six. One was spending time on her back, flippers in the air, like I've seem them do in the sunshine. But there was no sunshine this morning, and it seemed like the others gathered around to see if something was wrong.
Remember, this is my nature blog the way I see it.
Yesterday morning, 91.7 Coast FM reported a listener phoned in with sightings of a pod of orcas off Davis Bay. Wonder if they were the same ones I saw across the Strait a few days ago?
There were two hummingbirds at the feeder this morning. I've seen one, every few days, all winter. He was probably around more often than I was.
All winter it was an Anna's Hummingbird. This one looks like a female Rufous Hummingbird to me.
I spotted 3-5 orcas about 2:00 this afternoon. The sea was calm and I was looking with my 4" scope (40x); I'm about 160 feet above the water; the distance was 12-15 kilometers. I could not pick them out with my binoculars. There was one male; his tall dorsal fin is easy to distinguish. Two others for sure, females, possibly one or two more. I watched them dive and in about four minutes, surface in the same area.
I made an online report to http://wildwhales.org/ before starting this blog entry and, while typing this, I received a phone call from a centre in Nanaimo asking for more information. He wanted to know what direction I thought the orcas were heading, so he could relay the information to a collogue out on the water at that time.
It's rewarding to know someone actually pays attention.
Strait of Georgia, Calm Sea
This is the calm sea conditions today.
Another one of these dull, dreary days in February.
I'm writing this in April, as an afterthought, trying to create a monthly photo gallery for this year.
When reviewing my photos for January, I had about 950 to choose from, of which I chose twelve. For February, I had only 380 to browse through. So far I posted three. For March I have over 1450 to pick from.
I don't keep a daily log or diary to refer to. I wonder why the number of photos was so different. I don't think rain was a factor; but I do tend to use my camera less on dull, dreary days.
What a great day today to get a suntan on the coast. While soaking up the sun I watched a seal doing the same on a rock, saw a couple of sea lions that seemed to be in a hurry, and I filled my digital camera card with images of surf scoters.
Yesterday I posted a video of a loon. I also spent time watching a beachcomber collecting logs (see March Gallery), which was interesting and entertaining. But I think the loon video better fit the nature theme of this blog.
A small raft gathered for feeding.
This morning there may have been 5000 to 10,000 surf scoters gathered for feeding.
(They are difficult to count when so many are underwater.) I've been watching them for a couple of weeks already. They eat shellfish which they wrench off the bottom and herring eggs in the spring before heading north to summer breading grounds.
I wonder why they have this "lets all go together" way of feeding? Sometimes they form a huge semi-circle, as if to corral their prey.
This is the same group. I've just cut the middle out to make two smaller segments to download.
Down They Go
Up They Come
Today, from by cliff edge, I was watching a loon with my binoculars about 160 feet below. I could follow him as he dove in the clear water. I decided to try with my camera. I think the loon dives about 10 feet, to the bottom, and swims towards the shore.
This video plays for 68 seconds; unfortunately it may take over 5 minutes to download.