What do you do when it is getting late in the day (5 pm), and it has been snowing all day, and it is cold, and the wind is blowing pretty strong? Well I decided to get in the van and go for a drive. I went to Canadian Tire first here in Strathroy and filed up with gas. Next was Timmies for a coffee to go. Then headed out past Clark Wright Conservation Area to the Melbourne Road. I just slowly drove along…..no hurry…..wondering what I might find along the way.
There wasn’t a lot of traffic at this time of day on a Sunday. So I could easily pull over whenever I wanted to. There were numerous small “ponds” in the fields due to the rain and melting snow. There was a pair of Canada Geese in almost each pond that I saw. I saw wood Ducks in two of the ponds. There were Mallards, also in some of the ponds.
American Crows were few and far between. I only saw three. I counted 5 Killdeer, 3 Juncos and numerous bewildered American Robins. Starlings and Red-winged Blackbirds were plentiful but I did not see any large flocks.
Just past Glengyle Road, there is a railroad crossing. This is the crossing where two young girls were killed crossing the tracks a week ago. There was a large gathering of people standing in the blowing snow, holding a memorial of some sort for their loved ones killed in this tragedy.
I crossed thru the small village of Melbourne and headed down to Hyndman Drive. Even though of late I have not seen a lot along this road, it is still one of my favourite drives. This is probably due to the memories I have of the many drives I have made along this stretch of road. In the past, I have often noted Short-eared Owls here. For many years, these owls roosted in a low wet area every winter. That little swampy area has been plowed over and is no longer there. Hawks, harriers and eagles also spend the winter months marauding these fields in winter. But today, at this time, I did not not see any. I did see several loose flocks of Horned Larks, with a few Laplond Longspurs thrown in for good measure. Also mixed in with the larks and longspurs were a number of Savannah Sparrows.
At this point I turned back toward Strathroy. I wanted to get back before dark. And I did.