17 February 2018
For the sixth year in a row Waterloo Region Nature has conducted a Great Backyard Bird Count, organized by that stalwart of stalwarts, Mary Ann Vanden Elzen.
In life you meet people who leave their mark due to their good nature, their dedication and their sheer humanity. Mary Ann is one of those people, a wonderful friend and colleague, a delight and an inspiration.
We all met at a local shopping plaza to car pool and depart for our first hosts on the morning's itinerary.
By the time we left the parking lot about twenty-five people had joined our group and we headed off to the beautiful rural property of Jim Cappelman and Irene Simpson who opened their doors to everyone and provided copious snacks, including hot coffee and mulled cider. Their little cinnamon buns were delicious! Everything was, of course.
|Irene and Jim|
Jim and Irene's poodle, Mojo, having given everyone the appropriate welcoming licks, muscled in to join the photograph session.
Now this is the kind of birding that even the faintest of faint hearts can enjoy, even the wimpiest disparager of winter can revel in. You stand by a series of large windows looking out onto an array of bird feeders, all the while sipping cider and munching on sweets. It doesn't get much better than this!
At this time of year one does not expect to see a large number of species, especially in the all too brief time we spent there, but there was a pleasing variety nonetheless. Several participants were new to our club and new to birding, so the fact that the birds were so close enabled those of us with a little more experience to explain some of the finer points of identification and provide a little extra information.
|Hairy Woodpecker (Leuonotopicus villosus)|
|American Tree Sparrow (Spizelloides arborea)|