Despite the beautiful weather this Sunday, a late morning census-walk along the Black (snowshoe) Trail was rather quiet. Birds this winter have been low in numbers almost everywhere and even really experienced birders have been failing to find the birds they have expected. Why is this? Hard to tell but it has been a quite mild winter and there is plenty of food in the wild meaning that birds have not been so compelled to frequent feeders – that and the fact that this year almost none of the winter finches came to the region from the north as there was food up there. Why wates energy travelling when you don’t need to.
Anyway … Chickadees (of course), White-breated Nuthatches, Crows, a single Blue Jay – last winter they were everywhere in the forest, this year hard to find – a couple of Downy Woodpeckers plus a single Pileated (heard, not seen), a tiny flockette of Goldfinch and that was about it.
Well – that was almost about it … in Dale Field at the end of the trail we happened on a new species of Owl for the Arboretum checklist: