It’s been a lackluster start to the year. I haven’t felt at all motivated to work on my year list or keep a winter list; with winter arriving in November this season, it’s hard to maintain any enthusiasm for the least birdiest time of the year here in Ottawa by the time January 1st rolls around. Still, I dutifully started my year list on New Year’s Day, my first species being Northern Cardinal when my neighbourhood pair arrived at my feeder just before dawn. From there I headed over to the Eagleson storm water ponds to pick up some waterfowl – five Canada Geese and over 200 mallards were present, with a bonus of ten Common Redpolls flying over. After that I picked up a few forest birds at the feeder at Jack Pine Trial, a Red-tailed Hawk at the Trail Road Landfill, and three Snow Buntings on Twin Elm, and called it a day. I spent only 2.5 hours birding and ended up with 17 species. Part of the lack of motivation comes from the fact that these species will all still be around in March when the sun feels warmer and temperature is milder. I even started the eBird challenge of doing one checklist a day to help inspire me, but with no daylight for birding before or after work, I was reduced to birding downtown at lunch during the week. After checking Confederation Park for a couple of days (the closest green space to my work), and finding only a single chickadee on one of those days, I soon gave up on that idea.
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