Cold Weather Blues – December 2013

As I get closer to retiring, I see why people go South each winter. As beautiful as winter can be in Canada, as I get older my body just hates the cold.

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Even during these harsh conditions some birds seem to be comfortable and still able to find food, although when it get bitterly cold they do move south.

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After 3 fairly mild winters, where here in eastern Ontario we wondered, whether there would be any snow for Christmas, we got a taste of how bad December can be. Almost 60cm (24″) fell in the Ottawa area, last month. We did dodge a bullet, most of it fell as snow, unlike Toronto, where it was all freezing rain. Then it turned bitterly cold…welcome to Canada.

On Monday, December 30, I drove up to Algonquin Park, to try and do a bit of birding and add a possible 3 species to my yearlist. The only species I added were Evening Grosbeaks, at the Visitors Centre feeders. With the températures hovering at -20C (-4F) with a decent breeze, we didn’t venture very far. We walked in to the Spruce Boardwalk, nothing out of the ordinary at the suet feeders and then drove down Opeongo Road and stopped at the first road on right, where we were treated to some lovely up close views of Gray Jays.

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I am sure if it wasn’t so cold we might have gotten a few more species, we didn’t see any Crossbill’s, Redpoll’s, Siskin’s or Woodpeckers. We’ll see what 2014 brings.

Ciao for now……HAPPY NEW YEAR

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