Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Great Gray Fever

I haven't been out on my walk for days now, but the wild wildlife times continue. Sunday I had to drive to a meeting in a small town northeast of Thomasburg (Tamworth), and on the way saw a kingfisher dive into a pond after a fish, through a fairly small opening in the ice. So far north for this bird--at least that's what I've always thought. Then after the meeting, one of the other participants had a bird (dead) that he hoped I could identify. It was a female pine grosbeak--just a little bit too far south for this bird, at least that's what I've always thought.

But the best came on the drive home. I was one the backroad that turns into Clare St. here in the hamlet, just at dusk, when I saw a large shaggy shape in a tree right at the side of the road. An owl? I stopped for a better look, and it was indeed an owl, a Great Gray Owl. These birds are everywhere in southern Ontario this year. It's being called the largest incursion ever recorded. But I'd started to wonder if I'd ever see one. What a magnificent bird!

The next day my luck held. I saw a bald eagle and a black-backed woodpecker. The latter was a first for me. Now if I could just see a snowy owl.....

Tomorrow I'll get back on the walk and see what's been going on around here lately--if I can sort out the multitude of tracks.

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