Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Birding in a Winter Wonderland

This morning we woke up to branches hanging low, laden with snow, the ground carpeted, the trees cloaked in white. It had snowed quite a lot, it frosted the trees and stuck to everything. The forest was white and thick. We can usually see straight across to the neighbors house, today all we could see was a wall of white.
The stunning beauty quickly drew us outside (resulting in not a whole lot of school getting done) to play and do some birding. The trail through the forest now felt like a tunnel surrounding us. I gasped every time I looked left and right, and licked the snow off the branches.
I did some birdwatching and photographing around the feeders while my siblings took a walk. There were a lot of Hoary and Common Redpolls, as well as chickadees. The landscape right now is perfect for photographing, the trees burdened with fresh snow, like a blanket on the evergreens. I was just imagining how a Cardinal on one of the snow covered evergreens would make an amazing picture, or a Purple Finch.
William and I headed out back, hoping we might see the Long-eared Owls. We know usually where they are, in a strip of spruce trees separating our property from the neighbors, so we headed there first. Sure enough, out flies one. It flew a short distance into the evergreen stand, where we quietly sneaked up and got our shots.

Clothes line coated in snow
 I sat on a chair very near to the finch feeder, where several redpolls were eating.
Common Redpolls

Common Redpoll

Common Redpoll

Common Redpolls

Common Redpoll
 A Downy Woodpecker came to the suet, I stood up and walked closer to it.
Downy Woodpecker
 I love this picture, a chickadee in the light falling snow.

This photo is very good, it is completely uncropped, and the lighting is only very slightly changed.
Common Redpoll

This is what I was trying to get the whole time. A bird on the spikes of snow. I really like this picture.
Hoary Redpoll
Black-capped Chickadee
 This is what the whole forest looked like. No branches, just peculiar wires of snow.
Not time for nesting now, eh?
 It looked like there was ice, but it was actually just slush.

Our dog watched us as we photographed the owl.
Winzy, our dog.
 Now for the owl pictures, these are probably the best Long-eared Owl photos I have taken.
Long-eared Owl
It getting ready to fly.

Long-eared Owl
 It flew to a different perch, then I handed the camera over to William.
Long-eared Owl
 We took turns until my other brother came walking up and it flew.
Long-eared Owl
By now, when I am finishing this post, the splendor of the forest is dissipating and it is melting away, so I'm glad I got out there in the morning.
Let me know how your morning was, and what birds you are seeing!


  1. I have been seeing geese and ravens as well as multiple sparrows coming back... the blackbirds and robins also are trickling in! First gulls including a California Gull! Btw: Great Post!