One thing that can be a little frustrating about this particular bird count is that we have a few nice ponds in our territory but naturally they are usually frozen this time of the year. Ducks generally seem to prefer open water over ice. It made for nice scenery though.
There were Dark-eyed Juncos, White-throated Sparrows, and even a Red-bellied Woodpecker searching for food beneath a canopy of White Pine Trees.
I took a ride deep into the Meshomasic State Forest looking for more birds. I found plenty of streams but not many birds but I did see a Red-shouldered Hawk near Del Reeves Road the day before which counts on the list.
We ended the day with a search of the Connecticut River from a couple of locations which are within the circle. One of the locations was at the end of Shipyard Road which has some beautiful old historical homes. A couple of the neighbors came out to chat with us. I was pleased by how friendly and supportive they were when we told them what we were doing.
While we were there, we were able to add a Bald Eagle to our list. We also enjoyed watching several Northern Flickers flying in and out of the knotholes in some of the big old trees. As we drove around the area we had a nice sighting of a Pileated Woodpecker from the car as well as an eye level view of a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk.
We moved down to another public access site at the bottom of Oakum Docks Road. There were 50+ Mallards, 6 Common Mergansers, and one Common Goldeneye on the river. We scanned the shorelines with the scope and spotted a Great Blue Heron looking back at us. We saw two Great Cormorants land in the river but upon further inspection there were another 16 cormorants in a tree. Some flew from the tree to the water and appeared to be Great Cormorants as well.The preliminary number for total species seen is 74. I'll be curious to see what the final tally turns out to be.
You can't tell from this photo but I came across a rafter of Wild Turkeys totalling over 50 in all. Unfortunately, they were 1/2 mile outside of our count circle so they didn't make it onto our list.
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I enjoyed watching the antics of the toms as they walked around Showing off their fancy tail feathers. They came crashing to the ground one by one as they left their roosting spots in the trees. They all gathered in a fenced off area that was occupied by a couple of horses. The horses didn't seem to mind the turkeys and the turkeys paid no attention to the horses. Just one big happy family.