December didn’t fail to surprise me, as I took advantage of an early, very cool but sunny morning in the garden, and offered up what to me was a real bonus,– a male Bluebird! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it,-  but low and behold, there it was in all its beautiful plumage. At first I just watched through the window, but then was able to get out onto our back deck, with my camera, to get some clearer shots of it and the many other birds taking advantage of the occasion. The Bluebird may have been one from the previous nesting season, as it settled a couple of times on my elevated nesting boxes that the Bluebirds have occupied and used before. It didn’t dwell for very long on any of them, and I managed to get a picture of it on top of a pine tree in which a House Finch was perching too, so their red colors complemented each other.

Believing its appearance this late in the year to be a rather unique one, I did a double check with some experts, Bill Read with The Eastern Ontario Birds Society. being one of them. He replied to my enquiry with the information that this wasn’t an uncommon occurrence at all, and many Bluebirds winter over in southern Ontario. Some of the birds might be on a late migration, hence my sighting of it, which was still a good one to witness.

The Bluebird took my initial interest, but then I realised that there were, in fact, many more birds in the garden taking advantage of the sun too! These included a pair of Mourning Doves, so well camouflaged in the rocks that they were almost indistinguishable from the rocks they were on. Super to see, and then further movement caught my eye and I watched as a small male Downy Woodpecker made its way up a tree, in the sunshine, searching for food. Later I was to see a female Downy doing the same, but not in the same spot.

Other birds enjoying the lovely sunlit day too were a small group of House Finches, a Bluejay, a Crow, and a Slate Grey Junco, so what was initially a lone Bluebird sighting very rapidly became a lot more interesting and exciting. A couple of  Black Squirrels even joined in, on the rocks previously occupied by the Doves, so in the short time before the cold crept into my bones and I crept back in-doors, I had quite a number of pictures to look at. Hopefully you are also able to experience some of the birds in your own garden and maybe even get some pictures of them, for yourself, too. Have fun and remember to stay safe and well.

John Baldwin



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here