Friends of Fish Creek Winter Birding, Week 8 – Beaverdam Flats – Snowed Out!

Posted by Dan Arndt

 

The week was beautiful leading up to Sunday’s walk. Much of the snow had melted off, migrating European Starlings and American Crows were arriving regularly, and temperatures were as high as 10 degrees Celsius some days! I was looking forward to a full walk in Beaverdam Flats, though it was predicted to be a snowy, wet day. When I left the house, about 2 centimeters had accumulated, but by the time we arrived at Beaverdam Flats, this is what the scene looked like.

Blizzard in Beaverdam Flats

Blizzard in Beaverdam Flats

In addition to the terrible weather, one of the main roads leading to the park was closed due to a fallen power line, and with both of these contributing factors, our small group of three decided to make a quick trip of it. We pushed through the wind and snow to find a few hardy Bald Eagles, many hundreds of Mallards, and a couple hundred Canada Geese, with a small smattering of smaller birds. Needless to say, none of my photos of the birds turned out in any recognizable way, so I thought I’d take a few minutes to share a few photos of the regular visitors to my bird feeders this winter.

female Red-breasted Nuthatch

female Red-breasted Nuthatch

male Red-breasted Nuthatch

male Red-breasted Nuthatch

This pair of Red-breasted Nuthatches are regular visitors to my feeders all year long. They roost in the spruce tree in my neighbour’s back yard each night, and forage around sunrise and sunset mostly, but on bad weather days, they’re active all day long.

male Northern Flicker (intergrade)

male Northern Flicker (intergrade)

Northern Flickers absolutely love the suet I put out. I find that they are very skittish and fly at the first sign of danger, but shooting from out of a window they hardly even notice me.

male Downy Woodpecker

male Downy Woodpecker

This male Downy Woodpecker is one of a pair that have been regular visitors to my feeders since I put them out. This SquirrelBuster nut feeder has been incredibly helpful at keeping the squirrels out. I’ve gone from filling the nut feeder two or thee times a week to maybe once a month!

male Common Redpoll

male Common Redpoll

While Common Redpolls have only started showing up at my feeders in the last month or so, there are half a dozen or so on an average day, and are regular visitors to my feeder with nyjer and black-oil sunflower chips.

 

I hope this makes up for the lack of my usual update today!

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