So long 2020, and thanks for all the birds

The last birding outing of the year was to the same location as the first one 365 days ago, at the Whitemud Creek. As far as birding goes 2020 certainly did not break any personal records due to the severely curtailed travel. The furthest I ventured were to our local patch of the Rocky Mountains, which of-course never disappoints in their magnificent awesomeness.

During my last birding walk of the year I encountered the usual winter suspects in these neck of the woods. A curious White-breasted Nuthatch was posing for pictures an armlength away, or maybe it was just waiting to see if I would offer it a snack (I did not). In the same patch of trees a pair of female Pine Grosbeaks were nibbling on frozen berries and some sunflowers seeds someone left.

Curious White-breasted Nuthatch posing for pictures
Female Pine Grosbeak enjoying a fruit snack

After my walk, as I was getting into the car, I could hear the unmistakable call of a lone Pileated Woodpecker in the distance. It was almost as if it said good bye to me and to 2020. I paused and held out for a minute, just in case it would make an appearance, but I never saw it or heard it again. There is another day tomorrow and, following birding tradition, the first bird spotted on New Year’s Day is an omen for the year to come.

Edmonton--Whitemud Park, Edmonton, Alberta, CA
Dec 31, 2020 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM
Protocol: Traveling
3.231 kilometer(s)
6 species

Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens) 1 Lone female
Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) 1 Calling in the forest. No visual.
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) 1
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 10
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) 4
Pine Grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator) 2

May the curiosity be with you. This is from “The Birds are Calling” blog (www.thebirdsarecalling.com). Copyright Mario Pineda.

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