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It’s -24C now as I type, and it’s not even winter yet.

I haven’t ventured out to the woods in such temperatures. But I’m happy to report that a few days ago, I made a couple of first-time sightings. The title is a big hint. I’ve posted The Great Horned Owl before, but never this one. This is the first time I see…

A Barred Owl:

The Barred owlHere’s the sequence how it (not sure if she/he) turns its head almost 180 degrees from left to right:


Straight ahead

RightThe Barred Owl has been described as ‘handsome’, with ‘soulful’ eyes. I’d say this one looks ghostly, or, a bit like a colourless Russian Doll. It blends so well with the bare branches under the dull, grey sky.

Another first for me is spotting the American Three-toed Woodpecker. It was high up on a spruce tree, so couldn’t actually count the number of toes. But, from its plumage I knew I’d just seen something relatively rare, for us anyway.

I can ID her from her barred ‘laddered’ back, black wings, and the lighter-barred sides. It’s a female because the male would have a yellow cap on his crown. Now that would be more photogenic with a spot of colour in a black-and-white landscape, but I’m glad just the same:

Barred back

Lighter barred chest

The head is blurry because she was pecking away.

Not a colourful collection of photosΒ but my wish was fulfilled with this part of the woods, sighting two new (for me) species of birds for which I’ve been searching these past weeks, upon tips from other birders. Another amazing evidence of the richness of life in the woods even when shrouded in cold and grey.


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All Photos in this Post Taken by

Arti of Ripple Effects

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