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Feb 22, 2013

Feathered friends at our frigid feeders

Photos by Barry Wallace                                                                                                                          Female Downy Woodpecker
                                                                                                                                                                            White-breasted Nuthatch
                                                                                                                                                                             American Tree Sparrow
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Feb 20, 2013

Volumes 1 to 9 are at King City Library

Yesterday, I made mention of the Handbook of the Birds of the World and the photo contest sponsored by the Spanish publisher, Lynx Edicions.   I should have mentioned that Volumes 1 to 9 of this incomparable series are available to patrons of the local library in King City, Ontario, where I live.   The first 9 volumes were donated to the our library by a patron, a couple of years ago.   Internationally, the series is finally completed at 16 volumes, the cost of which is $160 (Canadian) per volume, or $2,560 for the set.   The price is a bit steep for most birders, which makes the books at the library very appealing.   The volumes at the King City library cannot be taken off the premises, but there are lots of comfy places to sit and peruse what are arguably the finest bird guides in the world.   They are a joy to behold.
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Feb 14, 2013

Trumpeter Swans near Glenville Pond

Photo by BarrytheBirder
Passersby in the area of Glenville in King Township have become accustomed to seeing these tagged Trumpeter Swans which seem to be year-around residents on one of the private ponds.
The property owner has installed a pump that is keeping a pool of open water open during the winter months.   Even in the cold of February, the scene is one of blissfulness.
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Feb 8, 2013

A drift of Snow Buntings

Photos by Barry Wallace
400 to 500 Snow Buntings
400 to 500 Snow Buntings greeted me on Thursday afternoon as I drove over a hill on the 11th Concession of King Township, just south of Highway 9.   I have seen flocks of one or two dozens of these beautiful birds many times over the years, but this flock was by far the largest I have ever seen.   I stopped counting at 300 and guesstimated another 100 or 200.   They kept flying off as cars swept by and then returned to the section of road where they searched for seeds and dead insects.   An imminent snowstorm that is to dump anywhere from 10 to 25 cm tonight, willd certainly make for slim pickings when they forage tomorrow.   How do they ever find enough to keep themselves alive all winter?   Below is a photo of Snow Buntings that I took a few years ago, very near to this same spot.   It shows the bunting's wonderful winter markings, which are different from their summer breeding plumage.   This bird has been called the "Snowflake Bird" in certain parts of the country over the years.   They are a joy to see.
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