Thursday, December 15, 2011

Winter birding

Winter is quite unlike any other season, and usually lacking in the numbers and diversity of birdlife, but it can still be fun and interesting! As I mentioned in the other post, Emily and I went out around Guelph on December 2, turning up a few good birds. On December 5, Josh joined us in a chase for an adult Black-legged Kittiwake that was found up at Guelph Lake. We didn't have any luck with that, but did turn up some Golden-crowned Kinglets and Wood Ducks. Then on December 7, an adult male Snowy Owl was reported not 5 minutes away from my house! It proved to be a nice study break as it sat nonchalantly on a telephone pole and barely gave us a second glance. On December 10, I celebrated being done 4 of my 5 exams with an outing around southern Wellington County. Emily and I managed to find a few good birds, such as Lesser Black-backed, Glaucous, Iceland and Bonaparte's Gulls, Mute Swan, Common Raven, Ruffed Grouse and a Rough-legged Hawk. A possible Lark Sparrow was reported late that day, so Josh and I took a short study break on the 11th to go look for it, without luck. We did find a Horned Lark and a probable Turkey Vulture, however. My winter list sits at 59 now, although the only reason I know this is that eBird keeps track for me!

As a side note, my feeders have been fairly active (for me, at least!) over the past little while - max numbers:

Dark-eyed Junco - 10+
Northern Cardinal - 3
Black-capped Chickadee - 5+
American Goldfinch - 2
House Finch - 2
House Sparrow - 2
Red-breasted Nuthatch - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2 individuals - neither managed to catch anything

Considering I just have a small hopper feeder and some seed spread on the deck, I'd say that's not too shabby!

Snowy Owl, 5 minutes from home!

Northern Cardinal at the feeder - through a dirty window

1 comment:

Kellie said...

David, that's an amazing story with the foxes. What a treat to see the great-horned go after the ravens, too. Thanks for sharing, and enjoy your holidays up north.