Saturday, March 1, 2014

Yikes! Shrikes!

Saturday, March 1 2014  -5C Cloudy, Windy, Some snow

Indeed, there are birds that tolerate snow. Some even migrate to our clime to spend the winter.

I offer the previous edition's Lapland Longspur, Horned Larks and Snowy Owls as examples.  Strangely, in my last two outings, I haven't seen any Snow Buntings.  These Arctic birds appear in large flocks along our roads and at our farms during winter.  Have heart though, it appears a few of these intrepid birds have found their way to Florida, with one being reported in Lee County yesterday and two in Duval County today.  Even these very hardy birds have given up this winter!

Today, with the keen eyes of Jon Ruddy, we found not one, but two Northern Shrikes not very far from my residence in Kanata (along March Valley Road, for you local people). I managed to snap a few photos of one.

On January 11 ,and January 26, I snapped photos of these birds' southern cousins in Florida: Loggerhead Shrikes.  It is interesting to compare the two, as it is rare to see both species in such a short timeframe.

Jon also spied a Rough-legged Hawk and a Snowy Owl.

After observing a host of Chickadees,  a Tree Sparrow, a Goldfinch, White-breasted Nuthatches and Mourning doves at the feeders at the west end of the Rifle Range, we then checked out the Deschenes Rapids (Ottawa River) where there were a few Goldeneyes (ducks), Mallards and even a female Bufflehead. Our last stop was the Jack Pine Trail at Moodie Drive...part of our Capital Region's Green Belt.  A nature club maintains some feeders at this trail, where a host of Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers share food with Nuthatches, Chickadees and Mourning Doves.

A few days ago, I went on snowshoes to the same spot accompanied by friends Cathy and Maureen.  We were hoping to see a Black-Backed Woodpecker....a handsome bird of our boreal forest.  We saw signs, but no bird.  To entertain ourselves, we offered some sunflower seeds to the Chickadees, with the following results.

Your Blogger with Chickadee

Downy Woodpecker at Jack Pine Trail feeder (suet)

Friend Maureen on Snowshoes on Jack Pine Trail