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Author Topic: Hornby Ground Observations That Aren't Eagle Related... 2013-2014  (Read 42762 times)
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linused
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« Post / Reply #15 on: December 15, 2013, 03:00:31 AM »

Magnificent Wren   it is such a thrill to see Orcas and other whales and dolphins. Bonus to see the babies  heart
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Sandor3
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« Post / Reply #16 on: December 15, 2013, 05:15:11 AM »

GREAT photos, Wren!  It is always exciting to see these magnificent creatures, and ESPECIALLY the babies.  Look like transients...send the photos to Orca Lab and I'm sure they could give you/us more information.  Thanks for sharing!!

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"We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have."    ~Frederick Koenig

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boonibarb
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« Post / Reply #17 on: December 15, 2013, 03:53:31 PM »

 
i believe this is a female Hairy Woodpecker?
i never saw one on the suet feeder until this year.
Never noticed before that Woodpeckers have that patch of yellow next to their bill.

november 29 2013 09:50 - female Hairy Woodpecker



http://www.flickr.com/photos/43214021@N08/11392207475/#

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wooohoooo!
passerine
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« Post / Reply #18 on: December 15, 2013, 04:54:57 PM »

Yep Hairy, the easiest way for me to tell difference of Hairy & Downy is the size of beak. Hairy about same size as head & maybe the yellow too, don't think Downy have the yellow(which i didn't notice before either, good eye Booni). Downy beak about half size of head.
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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #19 on: December 16, 2013, 09:01:32 PM »

I have received via Flickr some communications from a young German woman who might best be described as an Orca Groupie. She seems to know her way through the catalogue of Orca families and posted identifications for two of my photos. Like Sandor she said that this pod are transients.

On the first photo, the blurry one of the female with two babies, she wrote: "The female is T49B (born in 1992). Looks like a new calf with her."

On the second picture, showing the tall male with the notched dorsal fin, she wrote: "That is T49A1. He has grown a lot since the ID catalogue was published!"

There was no identification for the third photo. In it the female's fin shows no distinctive notch. It's like an eagle with perfect feathers... It's the nicks and gaps that allow us a positive identification.

Thank you Sandor and Havannah!

Meanwhile I haven't done my homework, so I don't know what relationship those identity numbers imply and if this pod is one of the regulars around here. From what I understand we often get visits from transients.

Foldi: this was one of my closest sightings of orcas ever. They appeared out of nowhere right next to the ship I was on, and passed under us. By the time I had fumbled my camera out of the bag, they were a few hundred feet away.
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linused
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« Post / Reply #20 on: December 17, 2013, 01:31:36 AM »

Wren  isn't it amazing how Orcas suddenly appear. Thank you for the update
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Sandor3
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« Post / Reply #21 on: December 17, 2013, 03:40:26 PM »

This was on the news yesterday... maybe the same pod you saw, winterwren.  Couldn't find the news clip, but this is pretty spectacular, too!!

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHJ8wrAkm4A" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHJ8wrAkm4A</a>
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"We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have."    ~Frederick Koenig

"We aren't the only ones that live on the planet, but we act like it."  ~ Jane Goodall
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« Post / Reply #22 on: December 17, 2013, 04:21:11 PM »

That's by Hornby, not a good day to be a Sea Lion in that spot.

Wren that's cool that the young lady could identify some of the transients.

It's pretty spectacular to be anywhere near such gorgeous creatures. When I commercial fished was lucky enough to be up close.
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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #23 on: December 30, 2013, 11:40:30 PM »

In this post, at the beginning of this thread, I showed pictures of a beautiful frog that I found high up on the mountain while looking for mushrooms.

I asked the neighbour of Nest 36, who is very knowledgeable about our local reptiles and amphibians and has written fascinating articles about them in our local paper, for some help in identifying this frog. She told me that they are Pacific Tree Frogs; this surprised me because I thought all Tree Frogs were tiny. I once found one of them comfortably nestled inside a tulip blossom, with ample room to spare. It turns out that they are variable in size and markings. But I really wanted to obtain permission to share with you my informant's entire email about the frogs of Hornby Island because it is so beautifully descriptive.

I now have that permission... For which I thank this dear teacher.

She writes:
"The photos are a Pacific tree-frog. They come in a wide range of colours. They're always small, with fairly short legs, and seem fairly "tame", as they don't wildly hop away when disturbed. They're the little fellows who blow up their throats and yell "ribbet" so loudly at the edge of ponds in spring. At this time of year, they say "kreck" or "kreckit", which usually means 'It's gonna rain.'

"Our other Hornby frog, the Red-legged frog, is considerably larger. It is very alert and agile, and usually leaps away into water. It has a clearly visible round ear-drum, and red inner thighs, with transparent (!) skin. The other distinguishing feature is a strong keel-like ridge that runs from the eye to the hip-bone, and then angles toward the rump. Red-legged frogs also can be a variety of colours, and they have a dark mask through the eye, but as I remember they have a cream-coloured moustache. They breed in streams and ponds, but their call is a little "put-put-put-put-put"-- from underwater! Absolutely no competition for the little tree-frogs with their high-decibel voices. Don't know how the female Red-leggeds can hear their mates..."

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linused
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« Post / Reply #24 on: December 30, 2013, 11:53:48 PM »

Thanks Wren for the interesting info on the tree frogs. I love to hear all those voices in the spring. Don't know how anyone can tell who  is who in the zoo.    We have another frog in our swamp but don't know what it is. So I will have a closer look at it. Doesn't look like your description of the Red legged frog but now I will pay more attention.
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linused
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« Post / Reply #25 on: December 31, 2013, 01:46:47 AM »



   I went into my photos and looked up the frog you got me curious about Wren.  Is this a Red Legged frog?  I think there is a tadpole just behind the frog.
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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #26 on: December 31, 2013, 11:48:14 PM »

Looks like it might be, Linus!
I found this link to photos of some of our native frogs:
http://web.uvic.ca/bullfrogs/page3.htm

The frog on that page looks much redder, but my teacher tells us that they can be a variety of colours. In any case the UVIC photo illustrates the "keel-like ridge" that she was talking about. Your frog seems to have the same kind of ridge. Also, if you enlarge the photo you can see the round ear-drum underwater.

I know very little about our reptiles and amphibians, and welcome any further comments.
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linused
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« Post / Reply #27 on: January 01, 2014, 01:17:20 AM »

Many Thanks Wren. I've bookmarked that link, it's very interesting.  A very Happy New Year to you!
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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #28 on: January 06, 2014, 08:35:31 PM »

On January 3, I went walking in the Heron Rocks area. I spotted one of the Heron Rocks eagles (and a visitor), and both of the owners of the Olsen Farm nest.

But what I wanted most was to hang out on the rocky beach and quietly commune with whatever seabirds or shore birds happened to be around. The tide was low, and I could hear some shore-bird sounds on the east side of Toby Islet. The islet is connected to shore at low tide, so I headed over, using some boulders for cover to approach without spooking whoever was there.

I saw a lovely Greater Yellowlegs first.
January 3, 1:24


He immediately flew off toward the Olsen Farm nest. I was tempted to follow, but I could hear all these other birds just around the corner, so I stalked closer to them to see what I could see...

A whole flock of Surfbirds!
1:24


Here we see them feeding on some of the tiny snails that grow among the seaweed on those rocks. They're all in winter plumage or in juvenal plumage, which are almost identical, except that in the juveniles the upper-parts feathers are supposed to look tidier, with more dark-to-light contrast. I can't really tell that clearly so far. Some birds seem to have darker spots on the belly but I can't find a reference to that in my books.

Never mind that: they're cute, and not very shy, and there was a whole pile of them, so I decided to creep closer and closer and just hang out.


Soon I spotted a different bird among them: a Black-bellied Plover. He looks so different, blockier and with longer legs.
1:26



We get a better size comparison on this one:
1:28




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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #29 on: January 06, 2014, 08:52:29 PM »

January 3, continued...

So I'm watching this big flock of shore birds and crawling closer a foot or two at a time, and suddenly of course they all take off.

1:37



I love the way they all turn together, as if they were one mind...
Hey, they're coming back!
1:38



 eek!



The Mew Gulls hadn't moved, which is why I hadn't moved either... and now they seem completely undisturbed by a few hundred birds landing almost right on their heads.








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