Birding at sun dawn

For a second day in a row I was sitting in my car at the parking lot of the Whitemud Creek waiting for sun dawn. At -10 C it was a “mild” morning compared to the previous day when the temperature was a bone chilling -20 C. At this time of the year, the first rays of the sun break the forested horizon around 10 AM. I was set, however, on beating the crowds and score some early birds. Around 8:30 the pale twilight was sufficient, and as a faint pink glow was emerging along the tree distant tops, I headed out. I made sure I brought a spare camera battery and a set of Little Hotties hand warmers, both which had saved my bacon the previous day.

Just as expected, I had the trails all to myself. Despite the midwinter temperature the air was full of bird song and calls. As always, the Black-capped Chickadees were feisty and energetic and the Nuthatches were calling left and right. A half dozen cawing Ravens soared overhead. The previous day I had scored a Great Horned Owl and a flock of Pine Grosbeaks. Today the highlight were the three Pileated Woodpeckers that were making a racket dismantling snags with impressive efficiency. All in all it was a lovely morning, and by the time I made my way back to the parking lot the throngs of runners and dog walkers had started to arrive.

The king of the forest this morning was a Pileated Woodpecker that clearly knew he was the baddest bird in the forest
Black-capped Chickadee doing what they do best, just looking cute and fuzzy.

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

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