Trumpeter Swans at Woodhus Slough

Trumpeter Swans (Cygnus buccinator)
Trumpeter Swans (Cygnus buccinator) gliding over the water at Woodhus Slough.

I headed out to Woodhus Slough this morning to do some casual birding with the kids and to check out how last week’s heavy rain, high tides and storm had affected the slough. The change was dramatic – while the dyke separating the slough from the ocean hadn’t been breached it was obvious that the storm and high tides had driven the water over the dyke and into the slough. Driftwood and other debris littered the trail in places showing the reach of the water and the slough itself was full of water. There were several different kinds of ducks enjoying the new “pond” and a nice group of Trumpeter Swans (Cygnus buccinator) gliding over the water.

Trumpeter Swans (Cygnus buccinator)
Trumpeter Swans (Cygnus buccinator) on flooded farm fields at UBC Farms.

Further in where the trail overlooks the former UBC Farms field (now owned by Patrick Evans) the impact of the heavy rain of the last week was also apparent. The fields were flooded, forming a shallow lake that was filled with ducks and a few more swans. Large flocks of Dunlin interspersed with Black-bellied Plover worked the edges of the flooded field.

Flooded Farm Fields
Flooded farm fields at the former UBC Farms - excellent winter duck habitat.

All in all it was a pleasant morning to be out birding. The Trumpeter Swans were a highlight as was a Northern Shrike (Lanius excubitor) and an Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope) in with a flock of American Wigeon.

Here’s the list of birds I saw at Woodhus Slough:

  • Trumpeter Swan
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Song Sparrow
  • Mallard
  • American Wigeon
  • Eurasian Wigeon
  • Bufflehead
  • Bald Eagle
  • Northern Shrike (first of the year!)
  • Northern Pintail
  • Green-winged Teal
  • Spotted Towhee
  • Bewick’s Wren
  • Dunlin
  • Black-bellied Plover
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Chestnut-backed Chickadee
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • House Finch

On the ocean:

  • Glaucous-winged Gull
  • White-winged Scoter
  • Surf Scoter
  • Red-breasted Merganser
  • Horned Grebe
  • Common Goldeneye