28 February 2006

Winter birds

Very, very cold this week with windchill apparently down to minus 25 degC but at least it persuaded the Pine Siskins to make a reappearance.

Also seen was a Coopers Hawk ..... it wasn't seen to take anything but fresh blood has been seen on the snow in recent days so someone is feeding well.

Recent reports from the area indicate that there may be Ravens thinking about nesting within a 20 minute walk. To be followed up on.

25 February 2006

Sounds of spring approaching















You wouldn't think it from the temperatures, but the last few days have seen the reappearance of territorial announcements from male Northern Cardinals and today the Carolina Wrens have sung loudly and joyfully while House Sparrows are actively checking out nesting cavities. The days are noticeable longer now and while spring is not in the air it can't be too far away.

Amongst the many visitors this weekend was a single Hoary Redpoll (first for the garden in 2006) ..... very distincitively different to the regular Common Redpolls as these photographs show:

.... in this one the Hoary is to the left and you can clearly see the pale chest and sides with almost no streaking. In this second picture the white undertail is well demonstrated:



Other species today have included Mourning Dove, Euro-Starling, House Sparrow, American Goldfinch, American crow, BC-Chickadees, Red and White-breatsed Nuthatch, DE-Juncos and House Finches. The House Sparrows, as mentioned above, are starting to search out nesting boxes - go to it, guys.

11 February 2006

Keeping a "Sharpie" lookout


Cold, bright, the regular crowd of birds including a nice number of Common Redpolls.

The McGill students who are studying Sharp-shinned Hawks in the area and using the garden as one of their survey sites managed to catch a juvenile male today and placed a radio trace on it so they can follow its movements. We know there are two other individuals in the area and Kestrel was seen in front of the house yesterday - a very hawkish bit of suburbia this.