28 January 2007

Nuthatches Nattering

Today we took a turn around the arboretum as we hadn't been there for several weeks (only to find later that Lapland Longspurs were seen in profusion out St-Clet way today) and a gorgeous day for a walk it was .......... there had been a slight snow fall overnight and the Hemlocks were looking especially striking with a thin covering on their branches .....


This was primarily a picture of sparkly snow but having a Dark-eyed (slate-coloured) Junco in the frame never hurts -



Of particular note were the huge numbers of White-breasted Nuthatches that seemed to be everywhere. They are not an uncommon bird but usually solitary, whereas today flocking was the only way to describe their activity .... all squeaking and nattering away to each other in that plastic trumpet noise they make


We found some bracket fungi holding the fresh snow


On the BPQ blackboard at the conservation centre someone had recorded seeing a Great-horned Owl nearby so we headed off to try to find it. No luck, but we did find in a tall stand of pine trees (perfect GHOW holding-up-for-the-day habitat) a positive "quarrel" of Blue Jays. Maybe a dozen or more calling and jabbering just like Crows do when mobbing an owl so maybe he/she was in there but too well hidden/camouflaged for us to make out despite determined efforts.

The Jay below was one of the ones homing in on something ....... "faster than a speeding bullet, it's SuperJay"


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