31 January 2010

TOC Bird Walk–Winter Birds

Birding as a hobby has given me lots of opportunities to say "it warmed up a lot once the sun came up"; today was another such opportunity.  (Sunrise happened while I was waiting for the GO train to Pickering.)

I think we reached the forecast high of -3 ℃.  Despite that, I did not adequately allow for the persistent, clawing wind and under-dressed a bit.  Thankfully not drastically so, but I was right glad of both Timmies' stops to thaw. (Well, OK, technically one of them involved lunch as well as thawing.)  And I never did see any of the snow geese (there are, thanks to the dedication of various birders, known to be 8 white and 1 blue snow geese wintering along with the approximately 6,000 Canada geese in Whitby Harbour.  Despite several attempts, I, and most of the group, didn't see any of them.)

Aside from that, it was a great day—cardinals, blue jay, chickadees, dark-eyed junco, mourning dove, downy woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, brown creeper, tree sparrow, goldfinch, Canada geese (by the long shedload), bufflehead, common goldeneye, greater scaup, mallard, black duck, gadwall, common merganser, trumpeter swan, mute swan, ring-billed gull, herring gull, lesser black-backed gull, great black-backed gull, glaucous gull, saw-whet owl, great horned owl, red-tailed hawk (more than five), merlin, and northern harrier.

Personal highlights were watching  a great black-backed gull klepto-parasitize a 2nd year herring gull, the saw-whet owl tucked into conifers by the side of the road not very far over my head height (that I would never, ever, have seen on my own!) and being overflown by calling trumpeter swans.


Dw3t-Hthr said...

Utterly tangentially, did you spot the bit about finding information about dinosaur feather coloration?


Graydon said...

Yes I did!

And not so tangentially as all that, either.