Wednesday, February 9, 2011

January Was Bigger Than My List

I'm still catching my breath from the winter we've had so far. We had 59.8"of snow in January which is a new record for Connecticut. After all the snow, we also had a bit of an ice storm. Ice-coated trees are a pretty sight in the winter but the additional weight of the ice also contributed to hundreds of roof collapses around the state. Fortunately, there hasn't been any serious injuries from these collapses.
Here is a photo of a Snow Bunting. I think they really stand out nicely against a snowy background. The weather conditions did slow my search for birds in January. I ended up seeing 82 species which is about 20 less than what I saw in the two previous years. Most of my birding was done by car along with a few visits to shoreline locations. There was too much snow inland. Here is my list for January 2011 in order that the species were seen:

1-Red-tailed hawk 2-Mourning Dove 3-European Starling 4-American Crow 5-House Sparrow 6-Northern Cardinal 7-Blue Jay 8-Red-bellied Woodpecker 9-Tufted Titmouse 10-Downy Woodpecker 11-Black-capped Chickadee 12-Song Sparrow 13-American Robin 14-White-throated Sparrow 15-Carolina Wren 16-White-breasted Nuthatch 17-Dark-eyed Junco 18-Mallard 19-Great Cormorant 20-Common Merganser 21-Common Goldeneye 22-Bald Eagle 23-Ring-billed Gull 24-Eastern Screech owl 25-Hooded Merganser 26-House Finch 27-American goldfinch 28 -fox Sparrow 29-Northern Mockingbird 30-Great Blue Heron 31-Herring Gull 32-Canada Goose 33-Northern Flicker 34-Ruddy Turnstone 35-Sanderling 36-Dunlin 37-Great Black-backed Gull 38-American Pipit 39-Common Loon 40-Purple Sandpiper 41-Red-throated Loon 42-American Black Duck 43-Fish Crow 44-Mute Swan 45-Common grackle 46-Bufflehead 47-Red-breasted Merganser 48-Snow Bunting 49-American Coot 50-Monk Parakeet 51-Long-tailed Duck 52-American Tree Sparrow 53-Red-shouldered Hawk 54-Cooper's hawk 55-Ring-necked Duck 56-Horned Lark 57-Brown Creeper 58-Belted kingfisher 59-Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 60-hairy Woodpecker 61-Savannah Sparrow 62-Swamp Sparrow (Wangunk M.) 63-Turkey Vulture 64-Sharp-shinned hawk 65-Eastern bluebird 66-Peregrine Falcon (Portland bridge area) 67-Killdeer 68-Northern Harrier 69-Greater Scaup 70-Lesser Scaup (both at Long Wharf in New Haven) 71-Gadwall 72-Ruddy Duck(New Haven) 73-Greater Yellowlegs (Nature Trail at Long Wharf) 74-Lapland Longspur (Hammo) 75-Black-bellied Plover(end of Meig's Point trail) 76-Red-winged blackbird 77-Golden-crowned kinglet 78-Cedar Waxwing 79-Red-breasted Nuthatch 80-Horned Grebe (West beach hammo) 81-Hermit Thrush 82-Yellow-rumped Warbler.
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I added the final 3 species on the last Sunday in January. I also found out that the a Common Murre was seen at West Beach by a large group of birders 5 minutes after I left the area. It was the first recorded sighting of this species in Connecticut.

By the end of the month I was spending more time shoveling snow and raking it off my roof than I was birding. It reminded me that some things are beyond our control and the weather would be one of those things. You just have to accept it and make the best of the situation.
I made sure that I shoveled a path through my back yard to where the fire bowl is. A little bit of music along with a campfire was a nice way to finish a long day of shoveling. Now I'm looking forward to see what February brings us.

12 comments:

Chris said...

Wow fantastic bird list you got in January. When I think IĆ°ve only seen 23 species so far!!! The snow bunting picture is awesome!

Ruth said...

You have a great list regardless of the total. The weather has been harsh for humans but it must be so much worse for wildlife. Thankfully we have had no ice storms, but your tree is beautiful. And the Snow Bunting picture is perfect!

Larry said...

Chris-I was surprised the first time I realized you can see over 100 species in Connecticut with some effort.-Thanks on the bunting photo comment-Glad you liked it.

Ruth-Very true-when you look at it that way-I probably have no real reason to complain.-I do love the way that icy trees reflect the sun in the winter.

Kathiesbirds said...

Larry, that is quite a list and several of those species would be lifers for me! I want to see a purple sandpiper and a ruddy turnstone! I tried to find a great cormorant up here but never succeeded. Congratulations on a Great List in spite of the snow! Now, I am ready for a warm fire!

Larry said...

Kathiebrds-Thanks-the good thing is I got out and saw some nice birds before all that snow hit.Your odds for seeing a Ruddy Turnstone or Purple Sandpiper at Meig's point in Hammonnasett are pretty good this time of the year if you happen to be visiting Connecticut. A fire is very comforting during the winter.

troutbirder said...

It been a tough winter here on the tundra as well. We gave up and headed off for a birding outing in Florida. :)

dAwN said...

Great list of Birdies for a cold winter month. If I was there I would be hibernating. Burrrr

Frank said...

I reckon you did exceptionally well considering all that snow.

Hilke Breder said...

Larry, I envy you your list! It pales against mine for the 2011. Nice photo of the snow bunting!

Lana Gramlich said...

Spring is coming...I promise!

Warren and Lisa Strobel said...

Love your snow bunting picture! Hope this storm was the last of your winter...

Andre said...

Nice pic on that Snow Bunting!
I've never seen one before. I love your blog and I'll come back again.
I'm in the South with better weather and you've seen more species than I have in January...and I've been birding!
I'm impressed.