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.