Hi everyone! What a week it has been. A few surprise bird moments right in our own backyard, sightings we never expected.
9 Days Before Christmas, Mother Nature Gave to Me... a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker!
Early December 16th I saw a funny bird fly into our Holly bush. It was my waking moments, I knew it was something different, but still half asleep and needing to make coffee, get our Budgies up, I quickly wrote it off as a Starling and my imagination.
About noon, as I am preparing myself for work, I saw a funny bird once again fly into the Holly bush. Now I'm wide awake and focus on what's going on. The daylight sure helped. Holy schnikes! A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker! The bird was picking at our Holly berries and then flying off with them. I was quite thrilled by this and hoped the bird would return for Angie to see, and the next day was the start of our 2 day counting for Project Feeder Watch. Thankfully the bird did return on Saturday. It spent the morning with us, then flew off in the early afternoon, not to be seen again. What's even more peculiar is there was at least 3 other people I knew of in Southern Ontario to suddenly have this species show up in their backyards. What gives?
Don't ask me, I'm just a bird!
6 Days Before Christmas, Mother Nature Gave to Me... an Eastern Screech Owl!
Here it is Monday morning. Yawn! The weekend went so fast. I dropped a bunch of Pepsi stuff off at Toronto Wildlife, had a peek about the park nearby (cold and quiet), and then I went home to finish up morning chores and prepare for work. Well, once again, around noon, I'm looking out the back window and I see something sticking out of our Owl box, which is about 40 ft away from the house. At first I'm thinking it's just a Squirrel but thought to grab the bins and have a better look. The shutters were closed so peeking through them didn't allow me to get a good focus at first. But when I did. My jaw hit the floor.
I know without any doubt that I said "holy *bleep*" over and over and over again; and by *bleep* I don't mean "shit" either. I quickly got myself dressed to step outside, going out the front door, slinking up the side of the house and creeping onto our deck at the back of the house. I was shaking with excitement. I joke to my closer buds that I was harder than a $3 jaw breaker. Yes, I was very excited.
I watched the bird, snapped half a dozen photos, and made my way back inside, going the same way to the front. I made sure I phoned Angie at work before I put this sighting out on social media.
The Squirrels were giving him some grief and I hope that has not effected him coming back. We've not seen him since.
Upon advice from others I've communicated with through some birding pages, I've put stove pipe around the tree. It's really worked in stopping the Squirrels from running up the tree. I may look into what can be done from above at a later date.
Both birds are new species (that we know of) to come to our property.
4 Days Before Christmas, Mother Nature Gave to me... a Great Horned Owl fly by!
We had a bit of a snowfall in the last couple hours before my work shift was done. It was big fluffy flakes but for some reason it still created some chaos on the roads. The drive home was slow. I made a detour not far from the house as traffic was really backed up on my regular route. I'm taking it slow 'n easy. Not as slow as what most were doing, but slow enough. Suddenly on my left, I see a large bird come flying across the road, full speed and getting lower and lower as it crossed the road. I almost came to a stop to let the bird pass even though it still had height over me. And it disappeared in someone's backyard on my right. Now what kind of bird would be on the hunt at almost 11 pm? A Great Horned Owl! No photos but the action is embedded in my brain. I can see it even as I key this. The darkened snow covered road, large flakes still falling and this bird... whoosh! That was the last thing I expected to see. There is a large woodlot very near here, multi million dollar homes on big lots with ginormous mature trees. Of course this is great Owl habitat.
We are mere days away from Christmas. I don't expect anything else but can't help but wonder if I will be blessed again. I'd really love for that Screech Owl to show himself again, more so for Angie to see him. The knowing there is one in our 'hood is pretty awesome.
I didn't think I was going to do another blog before the holidays but here is one. I didn't think I'd have such sightings this week but here they were. It's great having eyes open to the wild world around us!
All the best! Might not be back till 2017 now. Cheers!