A new year and a new birding challenge (several in fact) started with bright sunshine, a clear blue sky and temperatures hovering around -20C. It promises to be more like -28C by tomorrow morning though with windchill of -42C plus some snow so we will take the sun and today’s more balmy conditons, thank you. The garden was visited by the big, red, bushy fox mid-morning – I like to think he was wishing us well in the year ahead but I suspect he was just looking for a snack. The first birds of the new year were our pair of Carolina Wrens who are faithfully coming to the feeder station where they especially like working on a frozen block of surplus pastry before turning to the seeds.

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2014 is our second Bigby, the first wildlife circle list and the patchwork challenge … but not just birds as all sorts of critters are listable once you get into this … as are flowers and fungi and insects. Wildlife, in other words.

A walk today produced cold noses and few birds, certainly no species to add to the ones we have had in the garden (listed below) but was invigorating to say the least.

Mid afternoon, the sun – which remarkably does have some warmth in it, a fact which reminds us on these cold and snowy days just how far south we are in Montreal compared to the UK – came out full strength on the larch tree in the garden and the Carolina Wrens decided to get some rays on the illuminated bark. Can’t say that I blame them. Otherwise they are working the feeders hard and seem to be continuing to take shelter in the crannys I built into the stumpery.

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So – here are the birds seen on January 1, 2014. Thirteen species, of which 12 are pretty common and one – the wrens – are decidedly not this far north but have an outpost in our garden. We need a few more to break any records. They also add 12 points to the patchwork challenge – you can find out about the patchwork challenge, and how to enter, at http://www.greenbirding.ca/index.php/patchworking/patchworking-challenge

Cooper’s Hawk 1, Mourning Dove 12, Downy Woodpecker 1, Hairy Woodpecker 1, Northern Flicker 1, Blue Jay 1, American Crow 1, Black-capped Chickadee 6, White-breasted Nuthatch 1, Carolina Wren 2, Dark-eyed Junco 6, Northern Cardinal 3, American Goldfinch 4

The Sparroworkers out Wildlifing

The Sparroworkers out Wildlifing