I know I keep harping on about the cold but it is a good 10°C below normal at -14°C as it is today. The cold has certainly sent the shorts to the bottom drawer for the duration around here, not that I ever wear shorts you understand – what with having Queen Ann legs and all that. There are still a few joggers plodding around the very icy roads but they too will either retreat indoors soon, either by their own violation or, much more likely, on a stretcher.
I did a short lanes shuffle yesterday in beautiful light, I saw next to nothing. The Snow Bunting mass has moved, perhaps gone and just 40 or so were all I could find. There was a dark form Rough-legged Hawk around but I couldn’t see him burping up feathers so he’d not had them all. Still no Snowy Owls though, they will come eventually but perhaps not just yet, later in December is the traditional time.
I still have a Fox Sparrow in the garden – hanging on despite the conditions and it seems to be thriving. I’m keeping the seed carpet well stocked in the hope that it makes it onto my winter list that starts tomorrow. The winter list runs December 1st-February 28th and keeps us active, outdoor birders motivated to get out from our heated prisons and even risk hypothermia just to put a Song Sparrow on in ink. The only upside to the weather is that I am pressing on with entering my stuff into eBird and I’ll be filling in a load of complicated dragonfly recording forms too, once I get the hang of them. For now it’s off to Wal-Mart for seed again, I wonder if I can get a Government grant?
Below a few dodgy shots of the Fox Sparrow – it is never still and the cold doesn’t make taking its photo that much of a pleasure.
BTW I put some pages up with owl photos, see the tabs at the top.
December 1st update – 07:51, the Fox Sparrow arrivers from roost and starts feeding. 07:53, so does a Sharp-shinned Hawk and with no juncos to dilute the available food guess who is breakfast!