Friday 3 January 2014

3 days into 2014

Enjoying my last few days before school begins again on Monday and while ~30cm of snow are being dumped on the avalon as I type.

Yesterday I joined Bruce M and John W for a southern shore birding trip. I don't imagine that I'll be doing many more over the next 2-3 months, not necessarily because I won't have much time but because the weather has been terrible for birds and therefore birding.

One of Thursdays highlights were 3 distant Willow Ptarmigan. For some reason the white birds stood out from the white background when I was scanning the distant hills for a Snowy Owl:

We did get to see 1 Snowy Owl on the day. A far cry from the 100+ that we would have seen on the same route 3 or 4 weeks ago. The state of this bird is probably a good indication of how the others are doing - not very well!

Continuing with the theme of desperate looking birds, here's a Wilson's Snipe in one of few remaining 'wet' spots:

This Gambel's White-crowned Sparrow found the jackpot on January 1st when it found a bird feeder in the backyard of two local birders. Since then it has been a regular visitor which is good news for St. John's birders because White-crowned Sparrows are actually quite rare on the Avalon Peninsula. I'm sure it'll be able to rely on a steady supply of food and friends over the next few months before things warm up again: