Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Looking back at the Winter

Finally! After a long, very, very cold winter, we are coming out the other side. This past Winter was unusually cold, we had -50 C (with windchill) often. The feeders were often devoid of birds, we saw only two redpolls in the early winter, and no Pine Grosbeaks. But, we saw lots of owls, a shrike, and a goshawk, which kept the winter interesting. 
The Great-horned Owl returned once more for the winter, as it has been doing for a long time. I got some good pictures of it finally!
Great-horned Owl
 A Northern Shrike showed up at our feeders for a moment in December, I couldn't get a picture though. 

I also did my first Christmas Bird Count, which was successful. I saw some Sharp-tailed Grouse, heard an Evening Grosbeak, and the highlight, a Northern Hawk Owl! Those were all new birds for me.
Northern Hawk Owl
I saw an immature goshawk at our feeders in the new year. We went with Christian Artuso to look for Great Grey Owls, which was very successful. We saw three great greys, getting fantastic photos. We also saw the Northern Hawk Owl again on that outing.
Great Grey Owl
In February there was a Barred Owl that stuck around in our yard for a couple days. A great sighting and a new lifer. A whole group of birders came over to see it, which was very exciting, even though I was sick. 
Barred Owl
We were planning on going to look for Snowy Owls with Christian, but we never got to it, because we had to make a trip to Ontario because our Opa passed away, and Christian had to go to China for a meeting. Maybe next year.
Even though it was so long, and cold, it was a great winter.

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