April goulash


This is a month’s end collection of images, none of which has had a posting of its own.

A Bald Eagle brings sticks to enlarge its nest.

A Columbian Ground Squirrel does sentry duty beside its burrow.

My hare in residence continues its moult to its summer coat.

The Pacific Wren is easy to hear, but somewhat harder to find and photograph.

Although still common around the Lake, the Bufflehead Duck will soon head north to breed.

Three Green-winged Teals fly by.

A somewhat uncommon bird at any time, the Brown Creeper is more likely seen in winter.

A Ruby-crowned Kinglet is at home navigating thick brush.

Painted Turtles have taken over a new pond.

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7 Responses to April goulash

  1. Jean Simpson says:

    Wonderful shots Alistair. One question – how do you tell the Columbian ground squirrel from the yellow-bellied marmot. There is frequently what I thought was a marmot near the turnoff from Hwy 3 for Lakeview Crescent on the way to Castlegar

    • Alistair says:

      Jean, if it lives in a burrow in a field and stands sentry over it, think ground squirrel; if it lives in a talus slope and lies around on rocks, think marmot. Also they differ in weight by a factor of about six, with the marmot being the large chunky one. Their markings differ somewhat also: the Columbian Ground Squirrel has a white ring around its eye that the marmot lacks. There are many marmots in the rocky slopes below the highway between Cottonwood Creek and Taghum.

  2. Tom Johnston says:

    I saw several creatures I thought to be groundhogs or wood chucks (Marmota monax) at the place Jean mentions. Now I’m not sure, but they seemed too big to be Columbian ground squirrels, though they did have plenty of grass to eat.

    • Alistair says:

      Tom, I am no mammalogist (having never had a biology course in my life), but I haven’t seen what I believed to be a woodchuck around here; I have only ever seen marmots and ground squirrels — indeed, two different species of each of them of them. (Well, when I was a child I used to refer to our marmots as groundhogs, but that was a long time ago.)

  3. Mary J Williams says:

    We have groundhogs, aka woodchucks, in Missouri and those guys can disseminate a garden quickly. They move around during the daytime. Here is a good website to visit: http://www.havahart.com/groundhog-facts

    Alistair, great pictures as usual. I am thinking those little furry creatures better be careful with those eagles around!

  4. Super photos, I especially like the bald eagle and the green-winged teal.

  5. Irene McIlwaine. says:

    Thank you once again for some wonderfully detailed pictures. ….a real treat .

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