Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Someone hit the pause button on spring and lost the remote.

After my last optimistic post, the area has descended into frustratingly wintry weather. As I write this snow continues to fall outside, and it seems there will be quite a while until we get some nice warm temperatures.

At this point last year I'd seen a wide variety of waterbirds in the area directly around Guelph (in spots that are still several warm days from having much open water this year!), Tree Swallow, Eastern Phoebe, 2 butterfly species and almost every local amphibian.

Given, last year was unseasonably warm, but it's still very abnormal that I have only had a single sighting each of Killdeer and Turkey Vulture this month, and no insects active except for a few midges and a couple of winter stoneflies.

On Sunday evening at dusk I made a brief attempt at looking for displaying woodcocks in the swampy area near my house. This was ridiculously optimistic given the below-zero temperatures, but it wasn't a total loss as I came across a herd of 5 curious White-tailed Deer. As I stood still, the deer stared intently at me, walking a few steps closer every so often. The closest deer got within about 5 metres of me before one snorted loudly and they dashed away with white tails flashing. I don't want to anthropomorphize, but surely this deer looks curious?

Finally, here's some cool biology news. There's been a lot of hoopla recently about bringing back extinct species, mostly in the context of the iconic Passenger Pigeon and Wooly Mammoth. I won't comment on this other than to say that these seem like about the worst possible species to ever actually reintroduce into the wild, but what I haven't seen discussed much is this project. Although they haven't published anything yet, it seems the team has come tantalizingly close to actually bringing back this frog species.

No comments:

Post a Comment