It’s Saturday. It’s 7:00 am. It’s pitch dark. And it’s -25C.
It’s time for the Christmas Bird Count.
I have been participating in the CBC for the past eight years, and it has become my winter ritual. It is my time to spend driving slowly along snow covered country roads, stopping frequently to look, to listen, to watch. To wait.
It is a solitary ritual that I relish, and protect. It is my gift back to Nature. My little act of citizen science on behalf of all the countless hours and hours of peace and happiness it has given me. This year was no different – a little colder than some, but the sun was bright and there were diamonds in the snow. Not as many birds, but lots of beautiful winter scenes. And a few good shots.
Each year there is a moment of wonder when something unexpected happens, and I am caught in the moment. Completely happy. Wholly content. Each year, there is one bird that stands out. Last year, it was a Bald Eagle. This year, it was a Wild Turkey.
The Christmas Bird Count has been taking place since 1934, and this article captures perfectly why it is so important to so many.