This weird winter, with its much above average temperature and no snow to speak of at all, has one interesting side-effect – it has brought some very rare birds into the Province. Today, I went to try my hand at finding two of the more elusive rarities. Nova Scotia is normally on the very southern fringe of the Snowy Owl’s territory – but this year there has been an explosion of the birds in the relative South. One speculation is that with the warm air pushing much farther North than normal, the cold arctic air is trapped and is very cold indeed. This has pushed the owls more southward than normal. It could also be the normal “boom and bust” cycle of snowy owls, but whatever reason, I found one on our beach in a rather remote location, here in Port Maitland. He was fairly camera shy and flew at any opportunity, and I didn’t want to push him, but I did get a couple of photos off. The other rarity has been around the area for months, but I just got some photos of it today. The Red-Bellied woodpecker is normally found far south of here at this time of year, but there have been a few sightings of them this year. This little fellow has been hanging around Cedar Lake area for the past couple of months, and is very quick to fly off, but he held still long enough for me to witness him, and also fire off a couple of quick photos, before he flew off into the deeper woods.
All in all, a great birding day, one visitor from the far north, one from the south, and a wonderful opportunity to spot a couple of species not usually seen in these parts.