Monday, December 28, 2009

Every Species Counts In January!

I participated in the Salmon River Bird Count on Sunday. It rained until about 1oam and I had to cover an area independently where as I had help last year. I enjoy finding birds but don't much care for keeping track of the numbers. The Ruby-crowned kinglet in the top photo was the only one I encountered but the Golden-crowned kinglets were plentiful.
The crows seemed to go out of their way to make sure that I didn't forget to count them. Wasn't there a band named Counting Crows? Much of Salmon River Cove was frozen but there was a gathering of 15 Hooded Mergansers in the open water. It took me a while to get the numbers right because each time I would count one merganser another would dive under water.
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Other birds of interest included: Pileated Woodpecker, Belted kingfisher, 18 Eastern Bluebirds, and 5 Field Sparrows. My total number of species were down from last year due partially to weather and time constraints.
Starting at 12 midnight on new Year's Eve start keeping a list of every species of bird you find in your state until the end of January. At the end of the month we can compare notes on how many and which species we were able to find. Many birders like to make a competition out of it. I like to try to beat my previous years total but don't compile numbers big enough numbers to challenge other listers in my home state.The fun is in just getting out there and seeing a lot of great birds like this Red-breasted Merganser I saw last January....
or this Ruddy Duck that help push my totals into the 90's.
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I hope you will join me this year to participate in this annual tradition. You can make things more interesting by setting your own personal goal, competing with others in your area, or by keeping a list and then sharing it with us at the end of the month.

14 comments:

Kim said...

Happy New Year Larry! Nice find on those Field Sparrows!

I will join in on the fun to list my birds on January. I remember it from last year and didn't dare attempt it as I was so new to birding.

Jayne said...

Sounds like a good way to start the New Year Larry!

BirdingGirl said...

Beautiful pictures Larry! What a successful trip- you got some very desirable species.

Great idea about the January count. I'm inspired- I might even get around to starting a life list this year. :)

The Early Birder said...

I agree larry, counting the numbers isn't my top priority.
I always find that a birding day out on the 1st Jan always gets the new year off to a good start.
Best wishes for 2010. FAB.

Chris Petrak said...

I am especially interested in your GCKI - because they were not on our count in southern VT at all - perhaps they've moved further south. - also the FISP - I would expect that they would be further south.

Larry said...

Kim-Thanks-I think that you'll find that it is fun but if you get carried away with it you may be tired by the end of the month.

Jayne-It's healthier than some of the other New year's traditions too.

BirdingGirl-It is a good idea-not mine but I thought it would be fun to pass it along.

Earlybirder-I'll second that-Happy new Year!

Chris-Interesting-I've been seeing them here in good numbers for the last month.We also had plenty of them last winter.The Field Sparrows are not all that common around here this time of the year but this one particular spot seems to have them almost year round.

Kathiesbirds said...

Larry, I am so glad you are doing this again this year. I was wondering if you would. I will be neck and neck with you for sure, though I may get off to a slow start because my grandkids are here from Maine until the 4th. Still, you know I will do my best and I will be able to see a lot of birds right here in my own yard! Somedays I am seeing up to 18 species!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Larry said...

Kathiebirds-How nice to have your Grandkids coming all the way from Maine to see you. Take your time-have them stay for another week-I need all the help I can get. My driver side door is falling off of my pickup truck. That should slow me down if I have to enter and exit through the passenger side!

Larry said...

I got my truck door fixed just in time.First bird of the year-Northern Cardinal.

Lana Gramlich said...

I must admit, I'm not so disciplined & competitive about birding as you (& I mean that in the GOOD way!) However, today I did spot my 1st definite goldfinch of the season & a whack of red winged blackbirds stopped by for a visit. That was nice. :)
May you see every bird you desire in 2010!

Larry said...

Lana-I only do this sort of thing in January for fun. Normally I don'y keep lists or pay attention to how many species I see.Okay-Lana-that's 2 for your January list-Write them down and keep going till the end of the month!

Susan T. said...

Happy new year! After seeing your post here, I decided to try Big January, too. Ought to be fun. I've gotten my blog going again and changed the name from Sherwood Island 365 to The Wilder Side of Westport so I can broaden the area that I cover there!

Happy birding!

Warren and Lisa Strobel said...

Larry - A very Happy New Year to you. Beautiful pictures!

Birdcouple is doing a "big January" this month, shooting for 100 species. We started the decade wth 27 today. Best bird was probably American Kestrel.

Let us know how your month comes along!
Warren and Lisa

Chris said...

Hi Larry,
Happy new year.. I like this kind of initiatives, they can gather a lot of info... Beautiful shots and nice post as usual!!