Painted Leaves.

Painted Leaves.

Lichens and mosses grow furiously right now - they add texture and colour to the bare branches areound us.

Lichens and mosses grow furiously right now – they add texture and colour to the bare branches areound us.

Our beautiful Island never fails to amaze and thrill me!  On our weekly walks I always find something new and wonderful to admire and photograph.  No matter how familliar the path.

Leaves, bushes, trees all have something new to offer.

The walk on the Sunday of the last weekend of December was particularly thrilling.

Looking down the River

Looking down the River

We went to the Nanaimo River Canyon.   It is always a pleasant walk, lots of scenic changes and usually quite a few bird sitings.  This walk was no exception.

Fresh snow on Mount Benson.

Fresh snow on Mount Benson.

It had rained heavily the night before.  But now the air was clear and the skies were blue with a few low hanging clouds.  Rain last night meant that there was fresh snow on top of Mount Benson.  It was a beautiful morning for a walk.

Raindrops like diamonds covered the bare branches of the bushes around us.

Raindrops like diamonds covered the bare branches of the bushes around us.

I could hear eagles in the distance and could see one perched high up on a bare tree branch surveyings its world.

As we moved away from the main river stream turned down the path to the SideBar Channel (my name for it), and re-entered the forest the sounds of the Eagles got louder.

Just hanging around as we walked on by.

Just hanging around as we walked on by.

There was a loud swoosh overhead and we looked up to see a large young eagle flying close overhead – it landed on a branch not to far away and remained quietly posed long enough for me to take a picture.  As we continued along the path there was another swoosh and another eagle flew overhead.  The kyrie crys of the eagles were getting louder as well;  another swoosh overhead – this was more activity by eagles than I had ever encountered before.  And much closer to my head than every before.  I was awed, amazed and not entirely comfortable with so much movement going on so close overhead!

Three right above my head!!

Four right above my head!!

7 Eagles were perched on the branches above the stream.

7 Eagles were perched on the branches above the stream.

A few steps further and we were at the Sidebar.  As I looked down the stream I counted 7 more eagles lining the trees down stream!  Four almost directly above my head.  Eleven eagles in one day, in one walk, in one location – I was literally awestruck!

The reason for the congregation wasn’t hard to understand – there were several large salmon carcasses on the ground and a few more in the stream.  It was feeding time at the River.

I had never seen so many of the large birds in one place – and will not ever forget this experience.

Happy Walking

Lynette