Starting Off the New Year with Nature London

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.

Male Red-bellied Woodpecker. Springbank Park, London.

Male Red-bellied Woodpecker. Springbank Park, London.

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.

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