Thursday, November 27, 2008

Lots of cool animal news from around the island this fall:

  • Last week in the rain we saw a family of trumpeter swans on Killarney Lake. There were two adults and five cygnets paddling in the water on the west side of the lake off the gravel bar.
  • In the lagoon at the moment there are no salmon (weep!) but there are mergansers, least grebes and buffleheads. The Goldeneyes haven't arrived yet.
  • This morning in the back there was a doe and a young fawn. A late birth that one.
  • Confirmed reports of skunks in an around Deep Bay and Miller's Landing. The only way they could have got here was with human assistance. What a lot of work to do that. Anyway, they're here, and rooting through compost piles and nesting under decks.
  • Nuthatches are doing strange things. Usually ubiquitous to our neighbourhood, they come and go now in little flocks. There has been a lot of tree cutting in the neighbourhood the last few years, and wondering if that has impacted them at all. At any rate they were around at dawn yesterday morning, so that was nice
  • Ravens and eagles haven't been about my place too much. Sue Ellen Fast (I think) was talking about the eagles the other day. The lack of salmon has them predating heavily on the herons this year, and there was only one heron chick hatched in the nests around Deep Bay. Herons are less common these days, especially around the Cove, but we see them regularly at the lake and on the shore.
  • I haven't seen too many seals lately, although there was one in Deep Bay eating salmon last week, which was a good sign.
  • All the birds are quiet...the resident winter wrens and towhees only chip in the bushes now. The loudest creatures on the morning air are the chickadees scrapping over suet, while the juncos wander around beneath them cheeping and picking up scraps. At night the geese down in the lagoon can be heard at our place, honking at the threat of a night prowling cat I suppose. The weather is colder and drier this month and it's as if everyone is waiting for something. Lots of stillness in the mornings.