Having returned from point counting birds in the tropics, the annual Christmas Bird Count is comparatively quite fun for all its quirky opposites to the speciose, song-rich, in-tune-with-nature sport of spring or summer. I did mine inland of Port Rowan, Southern Ontario, hiking around in silent, snowy weather, in lame pursuit of the very few winter species and lost aberrants who tough it out in the dark, cold, frozen landscape. What better way to celebrate the holy Winter Solstice, than to defy life-in-hibernation, and work hard to get what you want from Nature: stomping through icy wetlands, crashing through brush, scaring up what we could, and invading people's bird feeders to stack the count – mayhem that counts as a count, opposed to the disciplined, randomized, systematicitized, protocolized summer studies.
37 species in all, a count that was well earned for 8 hours in the cold. 103 species in total for the Port Rowan area. Christmas just took on a whole new wholesome meaning for me!
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