February 18, 2013 2 Comments
At this time of year the weather dominates your thinking. The cold has been around for long enough thank you and you can’t wait to see your deck again, we all desperately want spring except that is for the deranged who will insist on strapping planks to their feet and sliding down hills. All the indications are that we might be slipping into an early spring here in the frozen north. It might be -29°C wind chill at the moment but the habitual liars at the weather network keep showing the long range temperature indicators depicting average daily temps edging towards the positive. Of course it might be a ruse and the first week of March might come and bite us, again!
Another indicator is the lack of birds. I have been out around St-Clet again recently and the absence of Snow Buntings and Snowy Owls is significant. Yesterday was another example of failure but fortunately at least one of the St-Lazare Great Grey Owls granted us an audience but not a clutter free photo opportunity. He, or perhaps she, proved popular and a couple of groups of photographers showed up to try for that National Geographic shot but it was never going to happen. One old boy that we passed had a very unique method of carrying his not unexpensive gear. Think Buckaroo and the way different parts of a plastic Donkey had bits dangling from it until it bucked and you have some sort of idea of the spectacle.
Although we have only just had a vacation, Sandra and I are already planning the next. That is the beauty of birding, there are always so many options that you are never stuck for ideas and from Canada the tropics continually beckon. Planning trips is a lot of fun in itself but you also need the carrot of something to look forwards to, especially when it is actually still winter and it will be at least six weeks before the first welt of a Mosquito bite from your own stock appears, usually on an exposed elbow.
Below a shot of yesterday’s owl – I could photoshop out the debris but this is how they mostly look, slightly obscured and with an air of aloofness and disinterest. When you are in the company of one of these beasts you get the impression that you are not of any importance and certainly not as interesting as say, a tasty vole – it sort of puts you in your place.