So, here it is the second weekend in March. We were spoiled greatly last weekend and much of the work week with sun and some double digit temperatures. I pretty much forgot that it is still winter here in Toronto. Along comes this weekend, and it rained and rained and rained some more... much more.
I guess it was one part "cabin fever" and another part of just a need to get out there and see what's going on in the woods near us, especially with migration starting up. I've seen the return of Red Winged Blackbirds a couple times the last week but Ang has not. So off we went! And with this rainy weather there was lots of birds and critters about and very few people. Sweet!
So, enjoy the photos and bits below. We had a few nice surprises in our trek!
First off being more Red Winged Blackbird sightings. We heard them well before we saw them. This guy gave us a backside view of him before finally turning around. As you can see he is a little full looking... he was in midst of making one of their very familiar calls.
He finally turned around to show us his beautiful markings.
Another usual suspect is one of many Northern Cardinals in the woods. The males are all very vocal right now as it's mating season!
This female Cardinal is playing a bit of a game of peek-a-boo with us and maybe with one of the boys trying to woo her.
We heard some really strange bird calls and looked for about 20 minutes before discovering the vocalist way up this tree. It's a Red Bellied Woodpecker! I still find it odd they have given him this name, what with that color on his head.
We went further along, figuring we were already rather wet, and thought we'd try to locate this Owl reported of living in the woods. We never did see the Owl but did spot this guy sleeping way up in the tree... it's a Raccoon. The rain was pouring down and he slept through it. I felt sorry for him but he didn't seem to care. One thing I will give our animal friends is that they certainly endure all seasons and weather better than humans. They just deal with it, the good, the bad and the ugly days.
On our way back to the car we spotted our first Chipmunk of the year. He didn't stay still for very long what with the rain coming down. He was a joy to see! Another sign of winter ending with the hibernation coming to a close as well.
Finally having enough of the rain, we head for home. Wouldn't you know it... within the hour of being home again, the rain stopped. I spent some time out back despite the gloomy skies and was treated to another sign of the changing of the seasons... a branch of Pussy Willows I planted 3 years ago, which now stands about 6 feet in height is blooming!
So, who needs more signs of Spring? The birds are returning. The clocks moved ahead this weekend. Buds are starting to sprout. Do we really need the news people to say so along with the calendar on the 21st?