Got held up this morning puzzling how to make a website I am developing for a research group into a multi-lingual site so were later than we would have liked setting out to the arboretum. Nevertheless, blue skies, fresh snow from yesterday, only two dogs as far as we could see, jolly cold and a couple of new birds for the year list … Red-breasted Nuthatch (#29) and Merlin (#30). We also heard a very loud “beea” call from a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (#31) in the forest just west of Chalet Pruche …. this is quite early for this species but one was seen nearby earlier in the week by a very respected birder and after checking recordings we are confident of the ID. A visual will be gained later in the spring, they are always around in summer.
The Nuthatch, which has eluded us so far this year, was on the tall tamarack tree beside Chalet Pruche while the Merlin buzzed us from behind some twenty feet overhead in hot pursuit of a Mourning Dove. They disappeared into the trees so we don’t know which was the winner but we didn’t hear any screams.
White-breasted Nuthatches were in evidence everywhere, playing with their plastic squeakers and there was a large flock of American Robins too plus the usual guys.
The arboretum feeders had not been filled – tomorrow is the day I discovered – so the Red-bellied Woodpecker did not make himself known.
A good walk, nice to get out of the house.
Pictures now … starting with a couple of scene-setting shots of the forest and of our favourite squirrels, in this case a black version of the grey (or should that be gray hereabouts?). Then the birds.