Our garden bird feeders are almost always knee-deep in gray squirrels that scarf down the reject seeds thrown out by the birds above but occasionally a cute and high-speed red decides to join them.
Just before setting out on a birding session this morning (see today’s post at www.sparroworks.ca/wildlifing) we had fine views of a large Coopers Hawk perched on one of our garden feeders. Everyone else had vanished and he will have to find his meal elsewhere for once.
Which is to say, the huge and deadly storm that paralysed the US but which was just another day in paradise up here where we fit winter tires to our vehicles …
A nice dump of snow made everything look shiny and new again so we did some photography up at the arboretum. Winter has its compensations when days like this come along.
It’s the beginning of february and the air is going to be cold and crisp for some weeks to come – but the sun is getting a little higher in the sky each day and you can actually start to feel some heat in its rays when there is no wind.
The garden squirrels really appreciate this …
Meanwhile, in nearby parts of the neighbourhood, things still look wintery. This was the bird observatory, yesterday late morning.
I had long assumed that the WordPress media uploader system is for image files, but now I learn (thanks Helen) that it also handles audio files … so this short post is just a way of seeing how this works.
I will not be making much use of this facility as there is a 2Mb maximum file size limit on media files for WordPress unless you want to go modifying some code … and I do not. Most audio files of any use are going to be bigger than that.
Anyway – if this works, and it should, here is a very short clip of the song of the famous garden Carolina Wren – this is the song that gets us up at dawn during the summer.
We hope you enjoyed that.
After many days/weeks of arctic weather we are enjoying a weekend of just above freezing point conditions with freezing rain turned to regular rain and ice-fog rising from the snow banks. It is truly depressing outside and the cold weather, when it returns, will just turn the roads and footpaths into skating rinks.
The gang of half a dozen or so squirrels that make a living below our bird feeders scarfing down the seeds the birds throw out for them have been looking exceptionally bedraggled this morning but they are hardy souls and just carry on … with the exception of this fellow, who having found an old and now unused bird feeder in a tree near our dining room window has been settled in for the past half hour waiting for the return of something he can cope with.
A new year and a new birding challenge (several in fact) started with bright sunshine, a clear blue sky and temperatures hovering around -20C. It promises to be more like -28C by tomorrow morning though with windchill of -42C plus some snow so we will take the sun and today’s more balmy conditons, thank you. The garden was visited by the big, red, bushy fox mid-morning – I like to think he was wishing us well in the year ahead but I suspect he was just looking for a snack. The first birds of the new year were our pair of Carolina Wrens who are faithfully coming to the feeder station where they especially like working on a frozen block of surplus pastry before turning to the seeds.
Don’t forget that there is a parallel web journal to this one that describes our wildlifing achievements “west of Montreal” … you can see that at http://sparroworks.ca/wildlifing/ where we have talked about today’s bird sightings.
The squirrels are enjoying a pre-Christmas snack
After a really nasty weather-weekend, we are just thankful that the worst of the storm passed to the south of us and we don’t live anywhere near electricity-free Toronto this Christmas.
Today, Christmas Eve it is a beautiful, bright, sunny -15C and the garden looks gorgeous.
All’s well with the world …
Today started at -19C and didn’t really get any hotter but the sun has been shining from a clear blue sky and it’s the sort of day (assuming you have a decent coat and boots) to really appreciate. hard to understand why so many people (the snow birds) flee winter for long weeks in steamy and buggy Florida but they do …. well, it’s their loss.
Meanwhile, the river has finally frozen over and we won’t be seeing free running water on the St-Lawrence for about the next three months. here’s what today looked like in our town: