Common redpolls at the feeder
The suet was a big attraction for the redpolls. But I noticed that they were also avidly eating seeds from various plants that had fallen to the ground.
Grey squirrel with nest material
Unfortunately, this is not a great photo, but is the best of the few I managed to take. I wanted to get a photo of this squirrel with her mouthful of nest material which she had scraped from a juniper. While walking along the service road between the Old Field and the Ash Woods, I heard what sounded like someone in the tall juniper breaking off branches. I couldn't see a person, and for a brief mad moment thought someone had climbed up into the tree intent on damage! Well, someone had, but it was a four-legged critter. This grey squirrel was vigorously pulling off strips of bark. When she had a big mouthful she leaped across the service road and into the Ash woods. I followed her as best I could as she rushed off a top speed through the treetops. Eventually she stopped and looked down at me as if to berate me for following. This is when I managed to get a few poor shots at a very high ISO. She just sat there so I left, as it was clear she was not going to move toward her nest until I did so.
Redpolls and house finches
There were 14 common redpolls in the Backyard Garden today, along with three lovely male cardinals, one female cardinal, many busy chickadees, and five house finches. In the Arboretum I could hear several pine siskins giving their funny but distinctive wheezy call. Too bad that they were not around during the Great Backyard Bird Count last week.
A closer view of one of these pretty winter visitors.
Interpretive Centre from across the Ravine
Under some softly falling snow, the Interpretive centre looks well nestled into its surroundings. Like a little cottage in the woods.
Tracks, possibly of a shrew
This was a long line of very tiny tracks in an unusual pattern. They reminded me of shrew tracks and I am fairly certain that is what they are, but having said that, they don't look quite right, compared to other tracks I've seen that fit the classic shrew pattern.
Mallards in BYG
These lovely mallards (two males and a female half hidden), were three of 9 mallards that made a brief stopover at the garden, feeding on spilled seeds and basking in the sun.
The crows were stomping around on the snow, looking very important as only crows can!
Rabbit tracks in fresh snow
Several sets of rabbit tracks, in different parts of the garden.
Red squirrel tracks
These perfectly formed red squirrel tracks were all around the garden in the light dusting of fairly dry snow that we had overnight. Such a light dusting is perfect for photographing tracks. The heavy wet snow that we often get distorts the tracks, but the kind of snow we had overnight is just right, not too deep, not too wet, and captures imprints well.
Northern cardinal, male
Jeewa photographed this beautiful male cardinal in the Backyard Garden today. It was a cold day (-11, windchill of -27), and there was not a lot around, not even many birds. However, it was brilliantly sunny and the light on this photo is lovely.
This tiny little wisp of a cocoon, was caught on the bark of a dead tree. I am thinking that a chickadee had found this underneath something (they are masters at finding insect eggs, larvae and cocoons) and had extracted the contents, leaving the wisp to float downward to be caught by this bark.