I ventured out for the first time in almost a week yesterday. Winter has closed in on us quickly and we have had several snowfalls with very cold temperatures. Last year I noted our first significant snow on this day after a warm and dry autumn. The past twelve months have been wet and cool but this is welcome after a few years of drought. Yesterday was one of those lovely "mixed precipitation" days where the temperatures hover near freezing and one day can produce snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain under heavy grey skies.
One welcome sight is the price of gasoline. We paid double this amount in the summer when we went to Manitoulin Island. A fill up that costs less than $40.00 seems like such a bargain and a car trip for pleasure does not seem like an extravagant idea. A friend of mine from work loves birding but is physically unable to walk very far. I have gone out with her a couple of times and she showed me her favourite pull up and park birding locations. I have never been a patient "stand or sit and wait for the birds" person but am glad she taught me this lesson.
Many of the roadways in our local parks are closed for the winter as they are not ploughed or sanded when it snows. My first stop was at a barricade in Riverside Park, Cambridge. Trail walkers had dumped mixed seed on nearby rocks and there was a lot of bird and squirrel activity. The usual seed eaters were around but one little Song Sparrow caught my eye. I have not seen them around for weeks now even though the birding guides say they are uncommon winter residents. This feeding station and the nearby river may entice the bird to stay for the next few months.
My Wildlife Sanctuary. The Blue Tit is a common bird in her area and when I see her pictures I always think it is a Chickadee. I looked up the bird "Tit" on Wikipedia and was not surprised to see that they are cousins.
The tits, chickadees, and titmice comprise Paridae, a large family of small passerine birds which occur in the northern hemisphere and Africa.
My outing cheered me considerably. And I am feeling better each day. Thanks for all the well wishes!