Päiväkirja-arkisto kohteelle helmikuu 2018

4. helmikuuta 2018

4 Feb/18

Interesting day. It was -26C and as I let the dog off into the park, I looked up and a Bald Eagle flew past along the River. It was probably 10 m above the river, but up on the bank it was almost at eye level. I did manage to get my camera out and snap a couple of shots, though I wasn't sure of exposure or even if the battery would work. Managed to get some shots, though it was 500m or so away from me. I had no idea that those birds would hang around here this long, or at this temperature. Some birds seem to semi migrate, moving away when it gets cold, and then coming back when it warms up a bit. Blue Jays seem to do it, though I don't know where they go when it's frosty.
The really interesting part is that there were none of the 'usual suspects' (chickadees, nuthatches and downy/hairy woodpeckers) around. I've seen them around when eagles are around, but perhaps the wind and the cold made them search for food elsewhere. It's been a long winter for these guys, and I hope they make it to the summer.

Lähetetty 4. helmikuuta 2018 22:37 käyttäjältä mamestraconfigurata mamestraconfigurata | 1 havainto | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

11. helmikuuta 2018

11 Feb/18

I have been down to the Red daily for the past week or so. I haven't seen too many of the 'usual suspects' around. My thinking is that it has to do with day length and the birds routine. It's light (or at least light enough for birds) at around 0730. I'm hearing chickadees and nuthatches around the neighbourhood, but not seeing much at 1030 down at the river. It could be chance, but it is also possible that the birds are beginning their 'rounds' earlier, and I've missed them. Still cold - it was -20 this morning and a little windy, but I doesn't seem to have stopped them in the past.

Lähetetty 11. helmikuuta 2018 21:17 käyttäjältä mamestraconfigurata mamestraconfigurata | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

15. helmikuuta 2018

15 Feb/18

I think my supposition about the timing of bird feeding is wrong. I've seen all the usual suspects in my normal walking area, doing the things they would always be doing. And less calling first thing in the morning.
Strange couple of days. It was warm yesterday - at 1300 it was 0C. By 0700 this morning it was -23C, with a brutal N wind. The Downy Woodpecker I saw had he head feathers a little ruffled by the wind. It was kind of funny - I could hear him battering away at a tree, and spent about five minutes looking around. Finally looked straight up, and there he was. Got a couple of shots, and one of a Nuthatch before my hands got too cold to be of much use.

Lähetetty 15. helmikuuta 2018 20:59 käyttäjältä mamestraconfigurata mamestraconfigurata | 1 havainto | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

19. helmikuuta 2018

18 Feb/18

I read today about a purple martin that was found on a ship off the Falkland Islands in 2001. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/9894296 . It is unlikely that it survived, and represents the vagaries of bird migrations. Purple Martins are known to migrate long distances https://www.purplemartin.org/purple-martins/migration/50/routes/ , but to end up on a ship that far off course was deadly, since these birds catch insects on the wing.
I was thinking about this bird on my walk this morning, and remembering Bank Swallows a few years ago. The Red River has some steep clay based sides. Bank Swallows tunnel into the river banks. Generally, once the river has done it's spring flood thing, it drops back to a 'normal' level. About five years ago we went through several wet summers, and the river reached flood levels in late June. The Bank Swallow nests were flooded, and I assume the years brood was killed. I haven't seen them around much since then, and wonder if they chose a different place to make nests.
Getting back to the Purple Martins, I used to see them a lot more in my area than I do now. I don't know if this is just chance (I used to think that Redpolls did not stay here all year round, but have learned from a reliable source that they do - I've just never seen them), and the Martins are just in a different area now, but it is a little bothersome.

Lähetetty 19. helmikuuta 2018 20:17 käyttäjältä mamestraconfigurata mamestraconfigurata | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

19 Feb/18

I took this picture by chance a while ago, and showed it to my spouse. The first thing she said when she saw it was that it's landing gear were up. I can't look at the picture now without thinking about that and smiling.

Lähetetty 19. helmikuuta 2018 20:22 käyttäjältä mamestraconfigurata mamestraconfigurata | 1 havainto | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

23. helmikuuta 2018

23 Feb/18

The winter ritual of tree removal has begun along the river. American Elms that have been identified as having Dutch Elm Disease (DED) and marked with the orange/red removal tag, are being cut down for disposal. I guess one reason why they wait until now to do some parts is so that the trees fall onto the ice, and can be cut apart. There are a couple of photos of the removal, and today the workers are cutting the trees into parts that can be removed.
In spite of everything, the city has done a decent job preserving the elms. Most of the older neighbourhoods (like mine) have elms lining the streets. The spreading treetops meet, and make a canopy of shady green in the summer time. I've noticed though, that some elms are not being removed for years after being tagged, and in local areas it seems to be spreading. There is a house just south of mine where marked elms stood dead for several years, and now there are numerous infected trees in the immediate area.
The really worrisome thing is that a lot of the trees that were planted to replace the dead elms were ash, and the Emerald Ash Borer has been found in Winnipeg early this winter. So eventually we will lose the elms, and the ash trees that replace them. It's kind of a sad thing to watch. The DED was introduced, but is spread by indigenous bark beetles. The Emerald Ash Borer was introduced as well, so both our major trees are falling victim to organisms not here at their time of planting. I think we need to start planting replacements now, but what and when seems to be up to the city. Winnipeg is on flat, flat land, and to have no city trees would make this a hard place to live in.

Lähetetty 23. helmikuuta 2018 17:21 käyttäjältä mamestraconfigurata mamestraconfigurata | 1 havainto | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti