This Canada Goose on the shores of Lake Ontario today pretty much sums it up for the week thus far, brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! After blustery winds and snow squalls, it's not been the best week for birding.
On Monday all I saw locally were two pairs of hunting Red-tailed Hawks, this one was near Sobey's Pond...
...and this one at Thickson Road and Highway 401:
I also saw my first local flock of Snow Buntings at Sobey's Pond, they were literally blown by me in the winds before I even knew it!
Today John and I stayed local once again, starting off our day at Thickson's Woods, and in total I added four new species to my Winter List, which now stands at sixty. In general it was alarmingly quiet, then again perhaps the birds had more common sense than we did by staying warm and undercover in the cold temps! House Finches, American Goldfinches, and Black-capped Chickadees were seen, along with hundreds of Canada Geese out on the lake. We heard but could not locate a Golden-crowned Kinglet, but managed to do so again at Hall's Road, enough to warrant a full "tick" this time around. A Sharp-shinned Hawk was flushed out too in the woods, perhaps explaining why the birds were absent.
In the industrial area northwest of Thickson's Woods, a Red-tailed Hawk was perched on a wire:
We knew he wasn't frozen solid yet as he moved his head around and eventually took off:
Whitby Harbour was also quiet, and many thanks go to Dan who spared us walking all the way to the end of the pier for nothing I miss my Harlie!!! A Great Black-backed Gull on the ice was another winter species, without us even having to leave the warmth of the van, yippeee!
The industrial area around Sobey's Pond had two more pairs of Red-tailed Hawks on the hunt. At Hall's Road we ran into some other birders who teased us with promises of Golden-crowned Kinglets and Tundra Swans on the lake, so we made the trek to successfully add those to our list. John finally saw an American Robin for his list, too.
The Black-capped Chickadees were especially aggressive, though, at times even landing on our heads and our hands looking for birdseed. American Tree Sparrows were much civilized...
...as was a male Northern Cardinal fanning his tail feathers:
My BOTD was no doubt this beautiful Rough-legged Hawk that was spotted in a tree on Victoria Street near Lynde Shores Conservation Area:
We also checked out the south end of Gordon Street and the Whitby Shores part of town, but nothing of interest was seen, so we wrapped it up for the day.
Ironically, after John dropped me off at home, I had eight American Robins in our backyard chatting up a storm, along with a few hundred European Starlings in our juniper bushes and on neighbouring rooftops: