I’m not a birder. Ok, I AM a birder!

I'm an in-between season kinda gal. Perhaps that's just me through and through, somewhere in the mushy middle, hardly extreme. One of the best things about spring and fall is watching the coming and going of weather and birds. Yep. I know. The hobby your grandparents had. Birding.

Even with birding, I'm not an extremist. I just look out my window, pretty much. But I still see the changes, like when the goldfinches that have been a dullish grey and yellow all winter start molting (and you know how THAT can hurt!)

goldfinch changing colour

And it's started again this week! Hurrah! These little fellas really epitomize us Canadians who spend winter wearing our dark plaid shirts and blue jeans, or our black turtlenecks and black skinny jeans. Only to break out the brightly coloured t-shirts, neon mini skirts, and Hawaiian shirts the minute the sun comes out and the temperature goes into double digits for the first time. Perhaps the wee goldfinch should be our national bird. It's here year round - no wimpy snowbird this goldfinch - and turns fabulous as summer approaches.

It's also fun to watch the comings and goings of the migrating birds who just stop in on their way north or south. Up here on Stewart Lake, we all love seeing the Buffleheads in the fall, cute little ducks that feed at our lake until they head for warmer climes. I rarely see them on their way back north in the spring, but during changeable seasons, you might blink and miss them for a year.

Stewart Lakers have a love/hate relationship with the mallards who come for the summer. Duck poo has ruined many a dock, dicing board, or floating lily pad water toy. But it IS fun to watch them through the summer with their baby chicks, watching them grow, watching them fledge. And since the ice is really disappearing, I heard the first "quacks" of the year. And it makes me happy. I will forgive them the duck poo at this time, because it's so great to see nature on the water again, and not footprints in the icy lake snow. I think I'll share. See you tomorrow, I hope.