Archive | December 26, 2015

Predator and Prey

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Meadow Vole

While a lot people like to get out early on Boxing Day to hit the stores, I like to get out early to hit the trails. It was very quiet and peaceful at the Beaver Trail this morning, and I had the place to myself for almost the entire 90 minutes I was there. I chose the Beaver Trail as I hadn’t been there since early October and was curious as to whether the new boardwalk was finished. Besides, you never know what might show up in Stony Swamp – my hopes were high for something fantastic, like Great Horned Owl, Northern Goshawk, Black-backed Woodpecker, American Three-toed Woodpecker, Pine Grosbeak or either crossbill species. My expectations were realistic, however, and I figured I would be lucky if I saw a Ruffed Grouse. The temperature was only -3°C, and although it felt cold after the 17°C weather we had on Christmas Eve, the day was gorgeous with the sun sparkling on the frost-coated trees and vegetation.

As expected for this time of year, the woods were quiet. At first the only birds I observed were a couple of chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatches and crows. I thought that the ponds might still be open, but both were frozen solid.

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