Saturday, May 14, 2016

Big Day

Today is Global Big Day 2016. What with all the birdie bounty we enjoy here I thought I might play along. Yesterday evening Alan and I took a wonderful walk out scouting, and finally picked up an Eastern Towhee for the yearlong farm count.

The sheer numbers of birds we saw was astonishing. 

Since the boss and I took our walk  a couple of days ago, the Bobolink and Red-winged Blackbird populations have skyrocketed. Hundreds of Bobolinks. Lots of Common Yellowthroats, Yellow Warblers, and other birds of interest as well.

Here's how the Big Day count went. (Had the day's 10,000 steps done by noon.)

She just showed up today and she looks terrible.

 5 AM first bird American Robin

7:30 AM-24 species and  I haven't even actually started birding and haven't left the house and driveway behind the house....just been out airing the dogs and hanging up the laundry.

Such drama! I went out to discourage a chipmunk and discovered both red and grey squirrels marauding around the place. A red was trying to get nestlings from a Common Grackle nest in the old blue spruce. Up and down the trunk it raced, big black birds in hot pursuit. I scared it away, but I am sure it returned as soon as I went back in the house. It's pretty much welcome to the darned grackles, but we have dozens of other birds nesting in the yard....... I don't know what's up with the arboreal rodents this year, but there are too darned many of them.

Anyhow, we are off to the fields again soon.

Later.....Alan took antifreeze and water way up in back to the skid steer where it overheated yesterday. The boss fixed the rest of the heifer pasture fence while Becky and I walked for birds. We crawled under the fence to the south and met Alan in Seven-county Hill Field to sight in some rifles. 

He started teaching Becky to shoot and within minutes I could hear her pinging the targets....I was over in another field birding.

A good place for the shooting range
1:50 PM-40 species and still counting.Picked up a couple first of year birds for the farm count too, Ring-Necked Pheasant and Barn Swallow. Keeping on keeping on...

3:00 PM...roughly....a life bird shows up right in the cottonwood across the driveway. A Cerulean Warbler. What a beautiful little bird! What a perfect day to show up!

Looks like we are only going to hit the low 40s for numbers this year, which isn't all that shabby. However, once upon a summer haying day, many long years ago when Grandma Peggy was still with us, I spotted 52 species in one day. I don't suppose I will ever top that.



Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Big Day, indeed! And you sure know how to fill it with wonderful observations! Thanks for bringing us along.

threecollie said...

Jacqueline, thanks! It was an amazing day and I am so grateful for the good weather. Sure wouldn't have wanted to do it today or yesterday.