Archive for February, 2009

The Great Backyard Bird Count – Day 4

My tally for Monday, the 16th

Number of Species: 15

Checklist:
Mallard – 200
California Quail – 32
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 1
Ring-billed Gull – 7
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) – 2
American Crow – 9
Common Raven – 2
Black-capped Chickadee – 4
European Starling – 50
Song Sparrow – 5
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) – 2
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) – 12
House Finch – 25
American Goldfinch – 8
House Sparrow – 25

I am soooo excited! Look what I did !!!!

Yeehawwwwwwwww!!! What a thrill!


I have been working really hard to get my feeder birds used to me, but for the most part, they keep their distance while I am outside.

Today was different for some reason. I went out to fill the feeders and try to get pics of a new little bird I didn’t recognize but which had been hanging around the past few days. Got the pics of it, and will post them separately, but then I decided to take a pan of water out for the birds and as I was setting it down on the table, a chickadee came and sat on the feeder about a foot away from my shoulder. So I grabbed a small handful of black oil sunflower seeds out of the train engine and held it out for him.

I thought my heart was gonna stop when he landed on my finger!!! WOW!

Then I picked up the camera again and was just getting it focused on the seeds in my hand when he came back for more. Just caught that shot, then he came back time and time again and each time I managed to get one or two shots of him.

At one point, I just stood and watched him. He sat there on my hand and looked back at me for quite a long heart-stopping moment. We just stood there quietly looking at each other, making eye contact, we blinked and I talked softly to him Then he picked up another seed and took off with it. He wasn’t in the least afraid of me. The Dawg was even right out there with me and there was no fear of him either.

This has got to be one of those days that goes down in history for me. It’s four hours later and I am still in awe.

Now to work on those brilliant male house finches! I bet it’s not impossible …

The Great Backyard Bird Count – Day 3

My count for Sun., Feb. 15 …

Number of Species: 12

Checklist:
Bald Eagle – 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 1 (in my woodshed again!)
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) – 2
Black-billed Magpie – 1
American Crow – 6
Black-capped Chickadee – 4
Song Sparrow – 2
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) – 1
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) – 10
House Finch – 25
American Goldfinch – 6
House Sparrow – 25

I also got these shots of a House Finch with mycoplasmal conjunctivitis

I will report it.

The Great Backyard Bird Count – Day 2

Nothing special today and limited time for watching and recording – work does get in the way of my fun stuff!

DAY 2 FEB 14.2009 – REPORT

Weather: excellent

Snow Depth: 10 – 12 in (25.4 – 30.5 cm)

Habitat(s):

agricultural

rural

urban

Number of Species: 10

Checklist:

Bald Eagle – 1

Ring-billed Gull – 7

Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) – 1

Black-billed Magpie – 1

American Crow – 6

Black-capped Chickadee – 2

Song Sparrow – 2

Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) – 12

House Finch – 20

House Sparrow – 20

The Bald Eagle was soaring in the sky just as I was turning into my driveway – being chased by six crows. No camera. As I was watching the eagle, a Northern Flicker landed on the bankĀ  by Stan’s driveway and was pecking around in the dirt there. I didn’t see the Slate Junco today but I got pics of the Oregon variety.

Oregon Junco

The Great Backyard Bird Count

The Great Backyard Bird Count happens every February and this is the first time I have participated in it. This year it’s Feb. 13-16th. It has been great fun watching everywhere for whatever wild bird species I can identify and record. Each evening I fill out a report form online and email it in. They email me back with a printable record so I can put it in my birding binder.

My greatest “catch” was two American Bald Eagles!!! I have never seen them here before and they landed in a tree up on the hill where I could see them from my front porch. I got pics, but they are VERY crappy – just too far out of range for even my biggest lens with the doubler on it. They make #54 on my Bird List. So nice of them to show up for my count!!! Yipeeee!!!

Bald Eagles

A special treat for me this year was the early arrival of the robins – just in time for the count. They stayed in Marlowe’s weeping birch tree for about 20 minutes.

Two American Robins

The Great Backyard Bird Count is led by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, with sponsorship from Wild Birds Unlimited.

DAY 1 FEB 13.2009 – REPORT

Weather: excellent

Snow Depth: 8 – 10 in (20.3 – 25.4 cm)

Habitat(s):

coniferous woods

grassland

agricultural

rural

suburban

Number of Species: 22

Checklist:

Mallard – 2

California Quail – 40+

Bald Eagle – 2

Sharp-shinned Hawk – 1

Cooper’s Hawk – 1

Red-tailed Hawk – 2

Mourning Dove – 4

Downy Woodpecker – 1

Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) – 10+

Steller’s Jay – 2

Black-billed Magpie – 4

Common Raven – 10

Black-capped Chickadee – 6

American Robin – 6

European Starling – 100+

Song Sparrow – 2

Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) – 2

Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) – 20+

Red-winged Blackbird – 4

House Finch – 20+

American Goldfinch – 10

House Sparrow – 30

Will post tomorrow’s results too, but they won’t be as high because I have to work all day.