Further to yesterday’s posting, the Arboretum today was heaving with Juncoes (one or two in the garden – plus Yellow-rumped Warblers) and the leaves are turning colour almost as you watch them.  A lovely time of year and I guess the snows that follow are the price we pay – worth it.

Praise where it is due … my birding friend, Mark, has just racked up his 200th bird species on his “patch” just a few km from here (check his blog) which is a damned fine achievement.  Frankly although birds and birding are “what I do” I simply don’t have the dedication to play the game at that level.  I keep getting distracted by other things …. a fat spider today as a picture below will demonstrate … but I think Mark’s earned a round of applause.  In as much as I have a patch, it probably has to be the Arboretum where my personal list stands at a paltry 106 species.   Once the new year starts and the current photography project and politicking up there are behind me I guess it would be interesting to do some serious patch watching and see if I can’t get that number up a bit … on the other hand, 106 species does represent 60% of the possible species in there based on the most up to date checklist and as maybe 30% of those are species that were seen-once-and-gone sometime in the past 20 years – and I was the first to see the famous Red-bellied Woodpeckers that visited last winter (saw them several times too) then perhaps it isn’t too bad at all?

The Arboretum organised its annual Oktoberfest this afternoon with demonstrations of competitive wood-chopping.  Fascinating to see where skill winds over brute strength.  Anyway, here are some pictures of early fall – next week is the Thanksgiving weekend and should be spectacular:

Fall colours 1

Fall colours 1

Fall colours 2

Fall colours 2

Juvenile Song Sparrow

Juvenile Song Sparrow

One of the Orb-web Spiders

One of the Orb-web Spiders

Axemanship

Axemanship

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