Taking Advantage of an Unusually Mild November Day

Occasionally we have some above 0C temperatures in November, but usually by now, the days are mostly below 0C. So, with a predicted high of plus 9, I knew I would be out walking a trail or 2 in Bird’s Hill Provincial Park. The next 2 days are predicted to be even a little bit higher and the following 2 days are to be about the same as today.

For at least the last year I have hardly seen any White-tailed Deer in Birds Hill Park (or even in Assiniboine Park). My thoughts are that due to COVID, there are so many people out enjoying the fresh air and nature in the parks, that the deer have just gone further into the bush. But today, I saw 5 deer as I drove in and although they didn’t stop to pose for photos, it was wonderful to see them again.

My first stop once I reached the park was the Prairie Winds trail. I arrived with a couple of handfuls of sunflower seeds in case any Chickadees were around. During the summer, these adorable little birds are too busy catching insects to feed to their chicks and although we might hear them, we seldom see them. Now that the temperature has lowered enough for the insects to die off (or go into hiding) the Chickadees have returned to asking for sunflower seeds. They actually follow people, especially once they find out there are sunflower seeds available.

A few years ago, a close friend (Judy) took me out to Birds Hill Provincial Park to introduce me to the friendly little Chickadees at the Chickadee Trail. Although I knew these birds were friendly, I had no idea until then that they were anywhere near as friendly and trusting as they are.

Most of you know how much I love dogs and that I always ask if I can pet any dogs I see on my walks. When I stopped to take a photo, a man & woman were not far behind and I saw they had a dog, so I waited for them. As they got close, I could see that the dog was a young Irish Setter (my favourite breed). So, I talked to them and petted this sweet pup for a couple of minutes. They then continued on their way.

As I reached the end of the trail later, there was a group of 2 people who were introducing a 3rd to the friendly Chickadees who hang out at the beginning/end of the trail. There are always a lot of birds – both Chickadees & Nuthatches that just wait for a food hand out at this spot. This is the same spot that my friend Judy brought me a few years ago that got me started on my drives out here. The woman was so excited to have the birds landing on her hand. At this particular location there are a lot of birds and she would have 2 or 3 of them at a time, with hardly a second in between the birds coming and going. Her friends were taking photos of her and the birds and I am very sure that she will be back again soon.

I wasn’t far from the Chickadee Train when I saw a White-tailed doe eating at the side of the road. I slowed down, put my window down and hoped for a photo. She wasn’t disturbed a bit and stayed for a few photos.

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