Journal archives for January 2019

January 01, 2019

1 Jan/19

It's been really cold the past couple of days - approaching -30C. Though down by the river, when the sun is shining, it's not too bad. The usual suspects are out and about. Nuthatches, Black Capped Chickadees, and the two major woodpeckers, Downy and Hairy. There were a few crows last week, but none to date. A couple of days ago I saw a Flicker. I can't recall seeing one in this area at this time of year, before. Generally they are long gone. I know I've said this before, but I am amazed that these birds can survive the winter. From my perception, the numbers have not dropped, but that is only a perception based on photos and listening to their calls. I believe these birds hang around here because they have the best of both worlds - a bush with lots of dead or dying trees, and bird feeders across the road. I suspect that they forage in the bush, then visit the feeders, moving back and forth. It's a little weird to know that all the insects, plants and non vertebrate life is hibernating or gone to warmer climes.

Posted on January 01, 2019 22:29 by mamestraconfigurata mamestraconfigurata | 0 comments | Leave a comment

January 20, 2019

20 Jan/19

We've entered a cold spell here - past several days have been -30C at night. Yet, the usual suspects are still out and about. There is some reduced activity in the mornings, but they all seem to be doing well. I suspect that the reason the population is so robust in the area is that the birds are able to supplement their foraging with food from houses nearby, but are also able to find shelter in the narrow woodlands along the river.

What also surprises me is the amount of mammalian activity. I see lots of tracks from mice, rabbits, squirrels and deer. Possibly a fox or two. An interesting thing - where the main path goes down to the informal trail, there are small piles of burrs. I've seen this once before - it looked like a fox had been sitting picking burrs off it's fur, and put them in a little pile. These are more messy than that one, and I see no evidence of fox tracks where they are. The piles are all loosely formed. I'm wondering if is from rabbits. I don't know if rabbits eat burrs (I'm thinking not), but they might be grooming in the area and pulling off burrs.

Posted on January 20, 2019 17:37 by mamestraconfigurata mamestraconfigurata | 3 comments | Leave a comment