A mystery bird with a call like a rusty gate has been lurking around the neighbourhood for the past 2 days. No sightings. Just startling hearings.
Woke up this week to a winter wonderland – snowed all night and all day.
The world made new. Again.
A mouse lives near the entrance to the neighbourhood park. In the fresh snow on the remaining snowbanks she is busy tunnelling; across the bank, popping up and burrowing down again, leaving tiny holes in the snow. The fresh snow so soft and shallow her tunnel falling in behind her, leaving a path of churned up snow. Terminating at the heart of a leafless bush, stems offering protection from avidly curious snouts of canine folk passers-by.
A Blue Jay calls in the morning from the oak tree in a low buzzing rattle, ending in a middle-pitched *click* – a mating call?
Five black silhouettes sail overhead under the morning moonlight, croaking in raspy voices to one another, revealing themselves as crows.
Perhaps they wandered over from campus, or are migrating north in the unusually warm weather. This neighbourhood belongs to the magpie clan; crows, especially such deep voiced ones, aren’t common here, though I love to hear them.
Very unusual for this northern prairie spot to have rainbows in the winter – this one from last Saturday (Nov 30) is the latest occurring one we’ve noticed here.
This afternoon in the back yard I looked up to see the sky filled with a huge (for here – 50+) flock of gulls! Prepping to migrate? No scavenging apparent – they’re all wheeling around, staying airborne. The flock slowly drifts off SE…
Meanwhile on the ground, and equally rare, is a flock of winged ants(?), milling about on the walk, surrounded by a host of wingless ant attendants… or predators – they are hauling off the occasional winged corpse. This happened once or twice earlier this summer, too – we watched, fascinated, as a host of winged creatures were escorted out of the ant-home entrance (in that case, a crack in a stump) by agitated ants. Eventually flying off, looking like tree fluff on the rise – a halo of fast-beating wings surrounding each in the sunlight.