Today has been like a Manchester summer Sunday, wet, wet, wet. The temps have soared to 9°C and the snow on the roof is getting heavier as I write but no doubt the freeze will come along soon and make it all nice and glassy, watch those hips as you hit the deck.
The yucky weather has limited birding somewhat and it has been a bit frustrating, especially as a Yellow-headed Blackbird is out there at St-Etienne and I’ve not seen one in QC for a few years. A break in the weather yesterday let me out to look for any Great Grey Owls in the area with nil success but at least I didn’t find any more corpses. I did see a Snowy Owl out near St-Clet though plus a couple of Lapland Longspurs and a Merlin for the year. I’ve also been watching the redpoll flock in the garden, now about 200 strong and containing a minimum of three Hoary (Arctic) Redpolls plus everything in between. No obvious Greenland Redpolls yet but a few marginal candidates. I took a few photos and I’m posting my Hoary Redpoll ID page from a few years ago. I’m not going to caption any of the shots, think of it as a mental execise, the three Hoary Redpolls are in there somewhere. I think we are still some way from truly sorting these winter wasps out but I suppose they will have to wait behind the Red Crossbills, Thayer’s Gull, western-vs-eastern ‘species’ splits etc. before they get sorted.
As a rough guide, the first batch are Common Redpolls, the second lot Hoary. Quite a few are shot I’ve taken in previous years, I thought it would be good to look at as many images as possible.