One of the neat things about the arrival of the nice weather is the change in bird songs. During the winter the noises they make are sort of monotonous and infrequent, as though they look through the branches of their home, see more snow and make the equivalent of a human sigh, with maybe a few bad words thrown in.
Then, one day – usually in March – we all catch that same fleeting whiff of Springtime air and everything changes. My guess is that it’s suddenly time to think about checking out the available real estate and building a home.
It’s sort of like that with people, too, when Spring hits.
Back in December Terry Daniels, my co-worker, commented to me that she was disappointed with the small turn out for the Christmas Bird Count because she “knew how much it meant to me.”
I enjoy watching the birds – and the marmots, the coyotes, butterflies, the neighbourhood cats and dogs… – but I’m no “birder”. Not like my parents were. The CBC is the only time I actually go out with others and count whatever’s flapping around.
Besides helping out by collecting valuable statistics, what is does mean is that Ashcroft and Cache Creek get another mention in the record books, and most of us are in favour of being “put on the map”, right? We aren’t going to get there by sitting on our butts and complaining that our towns are going to the ducks.
In the news last week, the fine people of Clearwater have kept their Number One spot in the record books for the fifth straight year for submitting the most checklists in CANADA for the Backyard Bird Count. They were twelfth in North America. They even got a special mention for being the only BC locality to report seeing rusty blackbirds, which are on the Species at Risk list (which is a list we don’t want our towns to be on).
Not only does Clearwater get to crow about their achievement, their name will always be in those Bird Studies Canada record books for all time, for all to see. Just as Ashcroft and Cache Creek’s names are in those books for our participation in the Christmas Bird Count.
But they can disappear easily if we can’t continue because of lack of interest.
Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal