Yes, I'm finally over my post-Vanier Cup depression! Amazingly, the
sun has managed to rise and fall each day since. I know, I put too
much emphasis on sports---especially Green And White Football!
Adios Danny (and Roy!). Thanks for at least getting the franchise
back on its feet. Now we'll see if Eric Tillman can bring home the
Grey Cup to where it truly belongs.
OK, it's been cold and miserable and I'm tired of shoveling. What a
horrible month in a supposed 'El Nino' winter. On the plus side, my
back and arms are getting stronger! The only thing of note here in
town this week was on Monday (the 27th). I was out shoveling first
thing in the morning before taking Brandon to school. About 10
Redpolls chitted over me in the near darkness. A few minutes later,
in the half-light of early morning I stopped for a breather.
Suddenly a Merlin (sex undetermined), came burning north up the
crescent a few metres above the ground in hunting mode. It went
shooting over the house and wasn't seen again. Minutes after that a
single Bohemian Waxwing zreed on by.
I recently purchased an extra plastic hopper feeder from Canuck
Tire. It's exactly like our old one: three holes on two sides with
perches below each hole. There had been a mob of sparrows and
finches constantly fighting at the old one which hangs on the nail
off our pergola above the deck. I figured another feeder would take
some of the pressure off and avoid some stress on the birds. I was
The tenants ignored the new feeder (only 1.5 metres east on another
nail), and continued to feud over the old one. I then switched the
feeders around, new to old, old over to new, and promptly had zero
birds for a few days! All this in spite of the nasty weather. Were
they that fussy, or just p-od that I'd changed the set-up
arbitrarily without consulting them? At any rate, I stubbornly left
the new one in place and now things are finally starting to return
I was off-for-miles until Monday morning. Then due to traffic
disruptions and other circumstances, I didn't get called out until
early this morning (Thursday) to taxi to Wainwright. Cond. Jerry
Boissonneault and I met at the Chappell Yard Office and drove out on
our first trip together. We fell out of the taxi at 0600 and
immediately climbed aboard drag 304.
A shortish train with 82 cars/7600 tons/5740 feet. Two old clunker
engines (5362-9418), but we had good air pressure and no problems.
We left Wain at 0640 and were back in Biggar at 1020. Not much but
here's what we saw:
Com Raven - 2 Yonker; 4 Winter; 1 Reford and 1 Palo.
Snow Bunt - 40+ Yonker; 5 Vera; 15 Scott and 35 Cavell.
S-t Grouse - A nice bunch of 25 just W of Unity.
Gray Part - 11 near Scott; 5 Reford and 14 W of Palo.
Com Redpoll - 50 in two flocks near Reford.
W-t Deer - A nice 5-pointer in the Moose Swamp E of Artland.
Mule Deer - A single doe at Palo.
On the way home, the wind was blowing yet again and the snow was a
blowin'. However the highway was still clear and we had an
uneventfull drive back. A few Ravens and Magpies feeding on at
least three road-killed Bambies.
Winter birding begins tomorrow. Sandra and I have a long day ahead
of us. Her Aunt Ruth passed away from cancer in Regina a week ago
at the age of 87. The funeral is in Weyburn, so we will be blasting
off bright and early to attend the service which begins at 13
bells. No doubt, some birds will follow us along the trail and a
report will hopefully follow.
Good luck to all with your lists!...