Are some birds starting to move north?

Winter birding is both cold (-9C today) and cool. Although spring and summer birding is more varied you do get the mosquitoes as a bonus while in winter it feels as if you are with old friends who have decided to stick it with you instead of heading to the tropics like all those wimpy warblers and ducks.

No new birds for the year list today but a huge (in relative terms) flock of American Tree Sparrows where we have only being seen penny numbers so far – I would speculate that these might be early travellers from a bit further south who are starting to head north. Despite the cold and the snow, the sun is higher in the sky and noticeably has some heat in it these days and the birds will certainly notice that. A nice flock of Cedar Waxwing paid us a visit too before heading away again in tight formation.

Heading home we stopped for a Common Raven working in a roadside snow-bank, eventually hauling out something large, pale and nasty (raccoon poop, old bread crust, who knows?) and flew away in triumph. Photos taken through car screen so not in focus of course.

Todays list included Northern Cardinal, American Tree Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, American Goldfinch, an overwintering Red-winged Blackbird, my friend the tufted Titmouse, Dark-eyed Juncos, BC Chickadees, Euro-Starlings, Common Raven, Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers and a Blue Jay. Plus a Coopers Hawk on the garden feeder.

Nice to be out and about.

Coopers Hawk on the garden feeders before we set out this morning - he came away empty beaked for once
Coopers Hawk on the garden feeders before we set out this morning – he came away empty beaked for once
American Tree Sparrow
American Tree Sparrow
American Tree Sparrow
American Tree Sparrow
Cedar Waxwings
Cedar Waxwings
Cedar Waxwings
Cedar Waxwings
AM Tree Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos
AM Tree Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos
Northern Cardinal with rapid fly-past from a female House Finch
Northern Cardinal with rapid fly-past from a female House Finch
Red-winged Blackbird
Red-winged Blackbird
Tufted Titmouse taking off
Tufted Titmouse taking off
American Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinal
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse
Exit stage right with the spoils of war - one Common Raven
Exit stage right with the spoils of war – one Common Raven

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