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Monday, April 29, 2013

Hummingbird - First of the Season

taken on a windy day
with feathers ruffled
the hummingbird bravely sits
on a willow branch



Sunday, April 28, 2013

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Very Active Bunny This Morning

first seen pulling up tufts of grass, then running back into the woods, then reappearing to continue eating....this went on for awhile.  Every time I thought s(he) had run away to hide for the rest of the day, she hopped out into the open again, even venturing as far as my garden to sniff a strawberry plant.        



Snowshoe Hare

wearing a new summer coat


Friday, April 26, 2013

Windy Days

There have been some fierce wind gusts of late that tear through the forest and cause the trees to sway precariously. The roar it produces can be a bit unnerving.  I tried to do some work outside yesterday morning while it was relatively calm, but went back inside when the wind picked up.

By the looks of it, we are in for another windy day.  

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Merlins

Merlin (Falco columbarius)
Tail feathers fanned in a courtship display
In flight approaching the nesting site
Although these small falcons have returned to this area each spring for several years now, this is the first year that I've been able to observe them properly.  This is mainly due to the location of their nest which is situated in a big spruce tree close enough for me to watch their comings and goings.  It is also where the crows had a nest last year.  
 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Garter Snakes

How do the garter snakes know when is the best day to come out of their den in the spring?  They seem to have it timed just right.  I noticed the garter snakes on Monday afternoon slithering through the dead grass and leaves.  They have been in their den on the hillside for about six and a half months.  Somehow they knew that the weather was going to change and become much warmer.  The high yesterday was 12°C.

  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

River Flowing

Nechako River
If you look straight up the middle of the picture, you will see a white dot.  That dot is a White Pelican.  They are only here temporarily until the lakes are ice free.
 
White Pelican
It was very windy by the water yesterday, and unfortunately, the above photo came out a little blurred.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Out of Hibernation

So nice to see the butterflies again.

Mourning Cloak Butterfly
Compton Tortoiseshell Butterfly

"Hope springs exulting on triumphant wing."
~ Robert Burns

Sunday, April 21, 2013

On This Sunny, Cold Morning

I was outside in my winter jacket taking pictures of the juncos in my dilapidated garden.  It was a peaceful scene.  The juncos saw me, flew up, then returned to continue their pecking.  Soon, the calm was over, and all the small birds scattered for cover.  One of the juncos sat in a Saskatoon bush and alerted the others with a distress call.  

The Merlin was in the vicinity and making quite a racket. 

While I was trying to get a better picture, she kept on with her terrible, earsplitting screeches.      



There was a sudden commotion when her mate made a brief appearance.

Eventually, the falcon flew to another tree where I found her quietly perched.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Road Trip, Then Home












This morning...two hares, one still wearing his winter coat, white with one or two brown patches and the other one looking decidedly more like summer.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Belted Kingfisher

Ceryle alcyon

Seen at Sinkut Lake on Tuesday morning.  It was raining and cold.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Looking Out the Window

at a quarter to seven
last Sunday morning
my sleep addled brain
took in two ears poking up
above a snowbank

(s)he hurried across the yard

and scampered around to the side of the house

when I moved the curtain aside
(s)he became jittery,
and before you might say
abracadabra!
the hare was gone again

~ April ~

Monday, April 8, 2013

Sitting in the Sunshine

Temperature at the moment is 0°C

Junco
All around me are the trilling sounds of these little forest birds.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Dark-eyed Juncos in the Snow

I don't think the birds liked the snow and the sudden dip in temperature either. The juncos were perched on branches and shrubs near the feeders for most of the day.

Yesterday....
At the bird feeders

Fluffed up against the cold 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Spring Snowfall

-6°C

Even on this bleak morning when the snow fell fast and furious, a crow worked at breaking off a small branch from a poplar tree.  In the next minute, the crow had flown away with the stick held firmly in her beak.

Both the female and male crows participate in constructing a nest for their young.
   

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Story of the Snowshoe Hare

All winter I had been seeing the tracks, but never did I see the one who made the tracks, the snowshoe hare.  And then by sheer coincidence I saw the "bunny" on the Easter long weekend.  He became our Easter Bunny.  Happily, I've seen the hare again, and this time there was a second one, too.  The first one dashed away before I could take a picture. But the second hare stayed for another five minutes or so until she/he also hopped away.  

 The Snowshoe Hare's winter coat is slowly changing back to brown.

This picture shows the Snowshoe Hare's large hind feet.

I stood on the driveway watching the hare nibbling a twig. 
 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hello

White-breasted Nuthatch

It's another nice day here in the central interior.  Yesterday, on our way into the city, we were lucky enough to see a moose walking in the snow along a fence line parallel to the highway. It's not often we come across these huge animals.  Shortly afterward, we saw a bald eagle feeding on carrion in a ditch, and then we saw a coyote going about his business. He looked healthy. 

I've also had several new (spring) bird sightings:
a pair of Robins on the side of the road
a Pileated Woodpecker drumming on a hollow dead tree
a Northern Flicker near the front of the driveway
 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Merlin


For several years now, this small falcon has returned to this location every spring to breed and raise its young.  No one can mistake its high-pitched, insistent cry.  The Merlin catches its prey (mainly songbirds) in the air and can reach speeds as high as 70 km/h.

On the day I took these pictures, the Merlin was perched in a poplar tree, preening, stretching and surveying his territory.  He looked dishevelled and had a few downy feathers sticking out. A little while later he flew to where a female was waiting in another tree.

In late April to early May the female will lay four to five eggs.  The incubation period is four weeks, and the chicks will be ready for flight at around 25 - 27 days.  The fledglings will remain near the nest for another four to five weeks, gaining strength and learning to hunt.