I often wonder how the birds cope in these harsh conditions, we see the swans asleep in the fields I assume they are saving energy, when I go to Art Mann park in the morning the ducks are all huddled together and the gulls look a bit fatter than usual with their feathers all fluffed up. Then I meet our counters at the dog park and they all look a little plump as they have several layers of clothes, Our most senior distinguished counter even had his hood up. Which brings me to the point that it is easy for us humans, we can stay warm by many methods, sadly our feathered friends have to make do with what they have and it is a live or die situation for them.
This brings me to another point about our counters who it seems the more layers they put on the harder it is for them all to fit in the vehicles. When these car manufacturers create their models do they ever think of swan counters in winter, of course not, and so the process of squeeze and push starts at 10:00am at the dog park. In the end they give up trying to get three in the rear seats of these so called big SUV’s and take another car. I being kind do not think it had anything to do with the Christmas holidays and the trouble of trying to hold ones size down.
9 counters left the dog park in three vehicles and we were soon counting geese at the school, Somenos Marsh had Red-tailed Hawk and several Red-winged Blackbirds sitting up on territory. Somenos Lake had a nice flock of Ruddy Ducks and many more Canada Geese. Our numbers this week were not too bad although many locations lacked any swans. I am trying to write this from memory at the moment as I am using my wife’s computer as mine has gone on the blink, so numbers are hard to pull out from the back of my bread box. That’s the brain to those who don’t know what it’s called.
We did see an American Kestrel and Virginia Rails and Wilson’s Snipe, more Red-tailed Hawks this week and back to many more Canada Geese. A group of 20+ Snow Geese at Dougan’s Flats. A large herd of Elk up Hwy 18 brought joy to all the faces and pictures were taken from a fair distance away.
The day was cold and the wind in places was a little brisk but we had a great day. With Just four more counts to go in March we hope that the temperature go’s up a bit. Do you know we have had swallows by now some years.
I am sorry short report this week.
Red-tailed Hawk By Barry Hetschko
Starlings by Barry Hetshcko
Northern Shoveller and Northern Pintail by Barry Hetschko
Elk by Eric Marshall
Virginia Rails By Kurlene Wenberg
Swans by Zan Stenhouse
Bald Eagle by Zan Stenhouse