February 1 2018. Dundas, ON. A sudden change of plans leaves the month of February open to me for new challenges. Free of major obligations I’ve set myself the goal of hiking a stretch of quite rugged trails, about thirty to forty kilometers in bite-size chunks is what I have in mind.
A decent snowfall two nights ago has made the trail with its uncertain footing and steep slopes out of the question, I opted instead to follow a part of it through an old residential neighbourhood. The strengthening sun had the upper hand today so the roads and sidewalks were dry and clear of ice patches, you couldn’t say it was spring-like, winter is still firmly in the driver’s seat, but you could dream.
My attention was caught by a sudden flurry of bird life and found the attraction was a small, well-loaded feeder. House Sparrows – How dreary I thought. When you weigh up the positives and negatives of House Sparrows you’re really not left with a lot one way or the other; but at least they’re here and they can brighten up a winter day. I took a number of photos, which manage to make them look quite engaging. Engaging enough to be Birds of the Day.
And some will think I have my priorities all wrong for, on my way home, I stopped at a reliable spot to see an Eastern Screech Owl and there it was, making the most of the morning sun. I suppose it should have been Bird of the Day, after all it’s an owl. But lovely though the owl is, I give the recognition to House Sparrows, the unsung foot soldiers of winter.