Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Bird Count

      As most readers know, the Christmas bird count is an important event for me. It's fun to be outside for a whole day and have a good excuse for watching birds. 

      In the last 45 years I have done the count close to 40 times. I have always done the same area and the odd year have taken on a second area when no one was able to count in an important area. 

     As you can see I prefer to count in natural areas.

I spend time on this bridge as birds cross the open area of the creek

Habitat varies

There are some open areas.

Edges of treed areas are good places to look

     Sometimes it's been very cold and a couple of times I didn't go out as the birds would not be moving and so there wouldn't be much to count. Besides, I'm not that dedicated that I would freeze my nose.

     Yesterday was just about right. We had temperatures from minus 2 C(28 F) to plus 2 C(36 F). There was very little wind and it was partly cloudy. In my last 10 minutes the wind started to blow. You will see from photos that it's pretty dull for partly cloudy conditions.

    My count was about average. I saw 9 species. (Red breasted nuthatch, black capped chickadee, blue jay, magpie, raven, house finch, house sparrow, downy woodpecker and pileated woodpecker). I saw one species that I couldn't identify as I couldn't get close enough to them. Other possibilities were 3 species of owls, bohemian waxwings, hairy woodpecker, black backed woodpecker, kinglet, pine siskin, crossbills, pigeons, brown creeper, pine grosbeak, evening grosbeak. So there's lots out there to see. Some of these may have been in the area but I missed them.  My total of birds was about 45. I saw a magpie "hissy fit" and I didn't get a count but there were probably 50 birds that flew by.

    To top off the day we had a super pot luck supper. I forgot my camera but last years photo will give you the idea.

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