03 March 2020
Francine and Jim were freshly arrived back from their visit to Guadeloupe, and we were all ready for a walk, despite the weather.
Hillside Park seemed like a good destination for we know where an Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio) lives, and if Lady Luck favoured us it would be sitting at the edge of its hole.
It was grey, the air heavy with moisture, the visibility poor at times, but we were happy to be together to enjoy what we could find (and see!).
Even poor conditions can create magic.
A Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) has spent the entire winter along the creek, and it alerted us to its presence by uttering its signature rattle. It was indeed a spectre in the mist.
I am not sure what else had seized our attention, but we were all trying to find it!
The park still held its charm, although the paths were icy and the walking difficult.
Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis) are beginning to sing from tree tops and this male urged us on.
We slithered and slid, wobbled, pirouetted, flailed and grabbed onto each other, and used our arms as balance beams. After all, with the promise of a screech owl in the offing, what's a broken limb or two?
Justice was served. Sitting boldly at the edge of its hole in a dead stump was this most delightful of creatures.
A fitting reward for a bunch of hardy naturalists it appears to me, especially given that the youngest of our group is sixty years old. Never give up seems to be the message of the day!