Last Sunday overnight rain turned to snow by Monday morning. Not much, but the first of the winter and well distributed with the remaining leaves carrying small loads of snowflakes … the leaves were still on the Acer japonica (now almost gone at the end of the week) and the white snow on red leaves was very nice to view from a warm seat indoors.
The cooler weather, in fact quite cold some mornings, continued all week with days of rain and wild temperature fluctuations – one morning being the coldest on record for the date in Montreal. The pond has remained frozen throughout, occasionally with pools of rain sitting on the surface. It’s raining again as this page is being composed and the day is very reminiscent of the grey, wet, cold days of November we left behind in England 20 years ago.
The bird feeders are well attended with gangs of Goldfinches and House Finches coming regularly along with Blue Jays, Northern Cardinals, Nuthatches and Woodpeckers. The Blue Jays and the Goldfinches have also found the heated bird bath on the deck which they like to drink from. Last week we encouraged you all to think about taking part in “Feederwatch” during the winter months. This citizen science project is a lot of fun and interesting to do while gathering important scientific data … yes, your Chickadees are important. The 2017/18 season started only a couple of weeks ago and already during the observation periods we have chosen we have recorded 13 species of birds in the garden with more outside the observation periods to top up the list. We are in our 19th season this year with 323 count periods completed and 48 species reported. It’s that last number that is important and we hope encourages you to have a go yourselves … Feederwatch is only during the winter months when people tend to just assume there are very few birds around. Well, 48 species in a suburban garden is a good few more than “not many” – you never know what’s there until you start looking. Right, end of sales pitch …
As you will see from the accompanying photographs, things are really winding down now as we await the first real dump of snow and enter winter proper.
Photographs follow … after the following information: