Sunday, December 28, 2014

More on the Bird Count

A bad hair day in the swamps

We had perhaps the nicest weather ever seen on the count, and since it was after Christmas the traffic was not as bad as some years.

The most exciting birds we saw or heard, for me at least, were two Great Blue Herons Matt and Alan saw, a Brown Creeper Alan and Jen picked up in Gloversville, and a Carolina Wren heard singing "Tea kettle, tea kettle, tea kettle" loud enough to be heard over traffic in the Mayfield part of our area.

Matt's bluebirds

Oh, and the Bluebirds Matt got on perhaps my favorite bit of the area, Ashler Road. Sometimes Ashler is impassable, but this year it was hard and dry.

Other than that it was more large birds than small as the light was terrible for two-thirds of the day. it took real hard work to even be sure about a large flock of Goldfinches behind Mom and Dad's house early in the day. They weren't talking, so we had to peer really hard at them. I knew...and yet.....of course as soon as we were positive what we were seeing they began to call like crazy, "Che wink....che wink....."

Lots and lots of Crows. The ubiquitous Chickadees. Kegan has gotten as good an ear as you could ask for hearing the little guys. Many flocks of Canada Geese flying over. More ducks than is normal, including a good-sized flock of perhaps fourteen that flew right over the truck in the really dim light in the morning. I'm sure they were Mallards, but I didn't count them as such, not being able to see them well enough.

Ashler Road

Alan and Jen took some roads and Jen drove while he counted. They got a nice representation, plus that Creeper.

I only started keeping a total of all birds seen a couple of years ago, but this year's 1251 is certainly a respectable total, especially since we only saw a very few raptors, a handful of gulls, and not one single Robin, Cedar Waxwing, or any of a number of other normally counted birds.

A good day, and thanks to everyone who drove, made incredible chili for the starving hordes, peered through windows, and sang out for all those elusive garage eagles.

And an outboard motor in a motor tree

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