Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Bird Count

Common Redpoll (Photo by Alan)

If you click you can see that the air is full of water
from these Mallards taking off out of the fish hatchery

We have been counting our little section of the Johnstown circle for many, many years. My mom and dad began, then asked me to join them, then the brothers joined in and now our grown children come along when they can. This year because the count was on a Monday there was no one available except Alan and me. They weather mages were threatening terrible weather.

However, even in the scant light of O'dark-thirty this morning, it was easy to see that we didn't get any snow at all...lots of wind, but not a flake.

All we could say was YAY!!

Since we don't get milkings off on Monday we had to do chores before we left and got a late start. Didn't matter atall. Before we even got to Mom and Dad's we saw a gigantic flock of crows and a big mess of pigeons and turned up the road to count them. There were at least 105 crows in the flock, and fifty pigeons.

While we were at it, we counted that whole road and were followed down to mom's house by a very nice lady who wondered why were looking at her yard with binoculars. See, we knew the folks who used to live there, but unbeknown to us the house had changed hands. Fortunately the lady was a dedicated bird person and glad to know what we were up to. We got that bird count sign on the car as soon as we got to the house though.

It was a surprisingly good day. We missed a lot of common birds that we usually count, but saw some good ones. A solitary red poll...a mess of cedar waxwings...mallard ducks at the fish hatchery. All in all a pretty good day.

(and some huge trout).

Our Numbers:
132 American Crows
1 Common Red Poll
4 White-breasted Nuthatches
15 Blue Jay
27 Mallard Ducks

93 European Starlings
30 Mourning Doves
231 Rock Pigeons or rock doves or whatever the heck they are calling them these days
2 Tree Sparrow
2 Brown Creepers (we walked into my aunt and uncles woods specifically to look for these and found them almost immediately...thankfully, because it was frigid!)
3 Red Tailed Hawks
29 Cedar Waxwings
18 Gold Finches
91 Black-capped Chickadees
6 Tufted Titmice
2 Northern Cardinals
11 Dark-eyed Juncos
1 Hairy Woodpecker
10 Downy Woodpeckers
3 House Finches
26 House Sparrows


Cathy said...

. . . and a partridge in a pear tree. :0)

I'm reading down your list and that partridge just popped into my head. Tis the season.

What a great day! What great birds.

lisa said...

You did good! I would of came but Matt didn't leave until eleven and I don't like to leave before he leaves. We really missed going though.

Dani said...

Great job you two!

CTG Ponies said...

Wow, that's quite a list!! Hope you had a wonderful holiday.

joated said...

Very nice! Glad you and Alan had such a good day.

Amazing that you got no snow while Albany had tons of the stuff.

Earl said...

I have to admire folks that know the names and the songs of those other creatures with feathers. Didn't see any Angels listed but then you were looking uncommonly hard at common heavenly hosts. Great count.

threecollie said...

Cathy, I always do the same thing...and we looked HARD for one so we could say that legitimately, but we couldn't even find any tracks when we walked in the woods. And we did have a wonderful day, thanks

Lisa, I understood why you couldn't make it...we missed you. Hopefully next year will be more like it.

Dani, thank you!

CTG, thanks, we did! Hope you did as well

Joated, thanks, we were wishing for a few more sets of eyes, but we got it done pretty well. We sure lucked out on the storm and I am very, very grateful!

EArl, I am still learning, still have a dozen encyclopedias worth left to learn. I listen to bird calls on my iPod while I do housework to try to learn them...I have such a lousy ear. And we did see angels, we did! My favorite dear and darling aunt and uncle let us do our walking on their farm each year. They have been angels in my life all my life. They are a large portion of the reason I love farming as my brothers and I did a lot of our growing up on their dairy farm. You can't see the wings but....