Christmas Eve and our first shift of the winter filling the bird feeders at the banding station. A couple of friends and we two have divided the next three months up so that the feeders are replenished a couple of times a week at least between now and the end of March when, hopefully, spring will be in sight and regular banding/censusing can restart. Today was simply beautiful at -10C (so not too cold) with bright blue skies, a warm sun and no wind.
The winter finches and their friends have not put in an appearance yet so the number of species we saw was fewer than it will be before too long but there are clearly some hungry birds around as the multiple feeders had done good service since they were last filled on Thursday be Jean and Clémence. Next outing is New Year’s Day when at least one forecast has a potential for a 30cm snow dump … that will be fun indeed. We needed snow shoes this morning which being first time this winter, was a slog so top it off with 30cm and we are in for fun next week. Good exercise – especially so this morning as the plough had not been down the lane to the entrance, giving us an extra bit of plodding.
We have some pictures for you below … but please note that this is not a public site so you will have to admire from afar via these pages. Sadly, not everyone can read … it looked as if someone had been through with a dog from the adjacent arboretum already in the last day or so. Hard to miss the signs unless you just ignore them.
Anyway – six species of birds. The Common Raven was nice as there are Ravens in the nearby EcoMuseum Zoo which call but have to be ignored for the count. This chap was a wild one, however, perched in a tree not far from the entrance.
Click any of the pictures below to see them at full size.
Note: in the last picture, the colours on the left edge of that cloud are genuine … presumably light being refracted through ice crystals in the cloud.