Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Red-breasted Nuthatch Long Pond

 I have now begun my second year of bird watching, and I am learning that birding is quite different from year to year. There are similar species back in the same places this year, but they are not as prevalent. In fact the Winter Bird List for this year is lower than in previous years. Is this because of the lack of berries and cone crops? Is it a result of the warmer weather or storm fronts that have or have not come our way? Who knows?  Last year, Long Pond, Pippy Park had much more activity. There was a Clay-coloured Sparrow in the Fall and in the Winter there was a White-throated Sparrow and a Song Sparrow mingled in with Juncos, Chickadees, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Red-Breasted Nuthatches and Blue Jays.
 This year birds around Long Pond and Kent's Pond are very scarce. I have walked the trails often and consider myself lucky when a bird pops out.  On December 29 (two weeks ago!) the sun came out and I hurried out for a walk. It is a good thing, too because by noon it had clouded over again. On that walk, I came across several Black-capped Chickadees and three Red-breasted Nuthatches feeding on some seeds left behind by a kind walker before me.
The Red-breasted Nuthatch is such an entertaining little bird. It is quick, very quick!  It will fly in grab the seed and fly off again in a flash. It never seems to linger to open the seed at the source. It also scurries up and down tree trunks, usually staying closer to the upper part of the tree. In between the walkers passing by, I was able to capture a few shots that nicely show their behaviour. I have been lucky to have a Red-breasted Nuthatch visit my feeder regularly since October.

Note how green the surroundings are in late December.

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