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