On New Year’s Day morning, I joined 30 or so brave birders for Nature London’s annual New Year’s Day Walk in Springbank Park. It was a frigid, overcast, blustery day, but that was not a great enough deterrent for this plucky group of naturalists. However, it seemed like the birds did not share our enthusiasm for the cold wind.
The highlight of the trip was a stunning male Red-bellied Woodpecker who managed to pose for just seconds during the only sunshine of the morning. I consider these birds a treat when I visit London because they are not common visitors to Ottawa. A second great find was a sleepy Green-winged Teal tucked in behind a large flock of Mallards. Non-bird highlights included a visible, intact Baltimore Oriole nest, a feat of engineering, and two beautiful Sycamore trees, indicator species of Carolinian Forest habitat. Overall, the group found 16 species of birds and approximately 150 individuals. Not too shabby for a not optimal weather day and a great start to 2015 birding.