Päiväkirja-arkisto kohteelle huhtikuu 2018

4. huhtikuuta 2018

April 4/18

Still cold here - past couple of mornings it's been close to -20 C, so there has not been much change in the species that are hanging around. When it has been a little warmer, I've seen a fly or two in the back yard where the temp gets a little higher because of the sun.
These two woodpeckers were kind of interesting. They were hammering away, not really loudly, on trees about 5 - 8 m apart. I sort of tracked them by their sound, but as I stood and listened, there was a distinct double sound superimposed. Found them on small branches, but the dual sound was quite fascinating. Somewhat akin to listening to two different but similar guitar tracks on a stereo recording.
One thing that has puzzled me this winter is the absence of Blue Jays. They are around - when things have warmed up a bit, I can hear them, but they have not been around here as much as they have been in the past. Cold doesn't seem to bother them much, so it may be that they have found a different area of the city to hang out in. Perhaps more food, more shelter - it's hard to determine what makes birds go where they do, but they have been noticeable this winter by their absence.

Julkaistu 4. huhtikuuta 2018 19:57 käyttäjältä mamestraconfigurata mamestraconfigurata | 2 havaintoa | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

6. huhtikuuta 2018

6 April/18

I was walking the dog along the river, but was staying off the path because it was so icy. I found this dead bird on the grass, which I assume is a downy woodpecker. It probably has been there since early or midwinter. It does not appear to have suffered much damage, though the skull was broken in places. There may be some decay, but nothing extensive (or damage caused by freezing thawing cycles).
For some reason it seemed very tragic, and sad. I've been taking pictures of these guys all winter long, and have seen them out at -30, busily hacking into the wood and bark. I know in my mind that many of them must die, but there always seem to be so many around. They seem to be plentiful. They always seem so robust, so able to 'conquer the elements'. This corpse seemed so small - the frame, the bones so tiny. How can anything so fragile survive the brutal winters that we have here? How many of my 'usual suspects' do not come through the winter? Most of them probably die inside holes in trees, at night, never to be seen again. This bird managed to be found, and remembered, and when the ground thaws out I may bury it. I know I am anthropomorphising this, but to me it is a reminder of how difficult it is for the Life we photograph so survive whatever conditions they are adapted to . And they just die, unknown and unmourned.

Julkaistu 6. huhtikuuta 2018 20:05 käyttäjältä mamestraconfigurata mamestraconfigurata | 1 havainto | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

11. huhtikuuta 2018

April 11/18

Well, finally seems like spring is slowly arriving. -7 C this morning, one of our warmest. As I went out to take the dog for a walk along the river, I heard the unmistakable sound of a small falcon. I spent last summer trying to track it down, with no success. This year, by gum, I'll catch it!
Also heard and saw a bird along the river that was not one of the usual suspects. Broad white tail flashes, so I suspect a Junco. They are generally the first of the small migratory birds that arrive here. My real sign of spring is the sound of the Western Meadowlark, as they don't arrive till later. There is not much of their habitat left where I live now, but in the past they were a part of the yearly cycle.
The ground is still frozen - I thought I saw an insect fly past on my walk, but unlikely. Considering putting out some type of insect trap to see what emerges.

Julkaistu 11. huhtikuuta 2018 16:27 käyttäjältä mamestraconfigurata mamestraconfigurata | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

12. huhtikuuta 2018

April 11/18

Finally got the little buggers!! I spent last summer trying to photo a small raptor(s) that were yapping around the neighbourhood, and today I heard one while walking the dog. After looking around, I happened to see one fly to a telephone pole, and got a couple of shots, though only of it's back. It spent most of it's time preening, while close by one was still yapping. checked over to the right of the pole, and there was the other one at the top of a tree. From my field guide, it seems that the one on the pole, which is more blue/grey, is a male, and the yappy brown one is a female. I though the male would be the loud one. I'm assuming, based on the field guide, that these are Merlins. I was hoping they would be back, and heard one this morning. I was making plans on how best to track them down, and there they were!

Julkaistu 12. huhtikuuta 2018 01:19 käyttäjältä mamestraconfigurata mamestraconfigurata | 2 havaintoa | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

19. huhtikuuta 2018

15 April/18

Still cold (-5C). Ground mainly frozen, except where the south sun shines on it. I thought I saw a Junco flitting past while out on a walk with my dog. It's white tail flashes are distinct. Later I heard what may have been a song sparrow calling, but had no idea where it was.

Julkaistu 19. huhtikuuta 2018 16:48 käyttäjältä mamestraconfigurata mamestraconfigurata | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

20. huhtikuuta 2018

19 apr/18

When spring comes, it comes back with a vengeance! Since the start of the month, temperatures have been below normal - barely above 0C in the day, -10 to -20 at night. Past day or so, highs above 10, lows around 0C. The river is higher, ice is breaking up, and the ground is thawing in the sun.
I've seen Compton's Tortoiseshell. I finally got a picture of a Junco after seeing one flash by along the river. Common Goldeney were on the river (where the water is open) and numerous flocks of Canada Geese are flying above. I saw a flock of White Pelicans (maybe 15), but by the time I got the camera up, there they were, gone.
Not seeing a lot of insects - a few flies around the house, and the butterflies I saw a day ago. I've scraped at some leaf litter, and the ground below is still cold, partly frozen. No trees are blooming yet, though I did see some grass emerging today along the south side of the river.
Of course the usual suspects are still around, and it seems as if they are in mating mode.

Julkaistu 20. huhtikuuta 2018 16:29 käyttäjältä mamestraconfigurata mamestraconfigurata | 5 havaintoa | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

23. huhtikuuta 2018

23 April/18

Got a picture of an Eastern Cottontail this morning. They have been less numerous this winter than last. I'd see four or five on my morning walk with the dog, now perhaps one or two a week. Like the Blue Jays, I don't know if they have moved to another location, or the population has dropped for some reason.

Julkaistu 23. huhtikuuta 2018 14:02 käyttäjältä mamestraconfigurata mamestraconfigurata | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti