I wonders where the birdies is
“The bird is on the wing”
Don’t be absurd, the wing is on the bird.
– (Old poem remembered from childhood, learned from my father)
Well, I’m back after spending March working day, night and weekend, so taking a few days off to recover.
I’ll start with today and work back a bit, as I did post a few of these pictures on Facebook and Twitter.
We have had the coldest winter since I moved to Ontario almost 35 years ago. Even Alberta warmed up faster than here. However, finally, it is up to 12ºC (54ºF for you old-fashioned folks south of the border) so there is finally some ground showing, even though it is still frozen, so SNOWDROPS! (Snoopy dance performed!)
DO NOT look at those seedlings sprouting. They are illusory. There are no weeds going to grow in my garden this year.
From yesterday, here is a picture of a pair of cardinals. Since they are on the bird feeder, it’s not a lot of effort for that male to pick up a seed and
hand beak it to to his mate, but it is a touching gesture.
The migrants have begun to arrive. The Red-winged Blackbird was the first I saw, though there are Canada Geese honking overhead and wetlands birds are usually earlier so I’ll have to head over the the conservation area which is about 5 miles downstream from here, where the river flattens out enough for water birds.
He has been doing his mating dance, so I might catch that soon; it’s too hard to do while on global conference calls which have been running most of the daylight for the last few weeks.
The male turkey was doing the same today, but I scared them off as I hadn’t seen them until the same moment I came around the corner of the house and they saw me, but Laurie was watching them.
Here is another migrant, just arrived.
I don’t see the local meadow voles very often as they live in tunnels just below the surface of the ground. However, in winter, the tunnels are under snow right at the snow/ground boundary so as the snow melts they have to dash between patches until the ground thaws and they can dig. When I looked them up on the Internet, I came across this quotation: “The Meadow Vole is believed to have the highest reproductive rate of any mammal in the world”.
One reason they like to stay underground is this hawk, who would love to have a vole for dinner but meanwhile is trying to get a junco out of the ninebark, but the bush is too thick for the hawk even though it is very impressive how deep it can penetrate while still flying. The junco got away as the hawk eventually gave up.
I’m guessing it is a sharp-shinned hawk. I checked pictures and the main difference from the Cooper’s seems to be that the shoulder is much lower on the Cooper’s, but I could be wrong. Any bird experts care to comment?
Here are a couple of shots of it in flight (!) in the middle of that ninebark.
Finally, a lesson in camouflage. The squirrel shows how to do it.
The cardinals do not seem to have got the point.