Friend Pieter Thoenes sent me an email this week addressed to barrythebirdertheblogger. That was followed by one from friend (and I use the term loosely) Peter Marsh addressed to barrythebooger. Then my sister Denise sent an email which she signed denise the drifter. When I asked her about this sign-off, she replied that when she and my other sister, Diane, saw my barrythebirder blogspot, they too had to have neat monikers. Hence, Denise, who likes to travel, is now denise the drifter. Diane, who likes to garden, is now diane the digger. My naughty sisters decided that our brother Bob should not be the one sibling left out. He is interested in insects and will henceforth be known as bob the bugger!
Well, let's get serious for a moment. This weather is spooky. I got an email this week from fellow-Baillie Birdathoner Diane Piche that she had seen Tundra Swans and Mergansers on Lake Wilcox last week. I swung by there after doing the grocery shopping and sure enough spotted a Tundra Swan and half a dozen Red-breasted Mergansers. These birds normally summer around Hudson's Bay and beyond. By January they should be nicely settled, down south in shallow, sheltered, salt water. They are particularly fond of the mid-Atlantic-states' coast. I sure hope they know what they're doing. Actually they could fly to the Carolinas in the same length of time it would take a carload of good-old-boy golfing buddies to drive from here to Myrtle Beach. The motivation would about the same: escaping freezing temperatures and snow.
My former colleague at Metroland, Sandra Althoff (now retired like me) emailed me to say she has a male Northern Cardinal waking her before dawn every day with its spring mating song. I guess he figures it's never too early to practise his pick-up lines for the ladies. Sandra said she also had Forsythia blooming in her backyard last week. I accused her of having too much eggnog and ?, but she swore it was true.
I cleaned out 33 birdhouses at Cold Creek Forest & Wildlife Centre last week in preparation for the new nesting season. Every box had been used by either Bluebirds, Tree Swallows or House Wrens, so our new nesting-box program is a real success. We're installing 9 more new boxes this week, which were assembled by students from the King City Secondary School Environmental Club.
This week's haiku...
Our brave army works
To protect poppies and Bush Oil
Too bad some must die
Please comment if you wish.