Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Bird Count & Big Semi-green January

I recently participated in the annual Salmon River Christmas bird count. The territory we cover is right in my home town which is very convenient. The top photo is a view overlooking Kelsey's Pond in Portland. It was a chilly day but there was plenty of sunshine.
There was an abundance of White-breasted Nuthatches. The females like the one above have a gray cap versus the males which have a dark black cap. 

  There were some species we expected to see that we didn't find this year including kinglets and creepers. We were surprised that we couldn't find a single Northern Mockingbird. Shh!- don't tell anyone!
This Pileated Woodpecker was partly to blame. It stayed at the same tree chiseling away while the three of us stared in awe! They really stand out from all the other woodpeckers in Connecticut. It was a female which lacks red in the moustache and has a blackish  forehead. Usually they fly off once they notice you but this one wouldn't budge. We couldn't peel ourselves away to get on with the count.

Some of our favorite sightings for the day included: Hermit Thrush, Eastern Bluebirds, Hooded Mergansers, 2 adult Bald Eagles, Common Goldeneye, and a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Nothing earth shattering but we had lots of fun.
click to play

 For  those of you who may be wondering, I have decided to do a Big January again this year. Big January is when you count all the species you see in your home state (or whatever) between January 1st and January 31st. I welcome you to join me in this annual tradition.

  This year I'm going to try to reduce the amount of miles I drive by walking, biking, busing, and carpooling when possible.  If you like this idea then I encourage you to give it a try.


Andre Coquerel said...

Sounds like you had a great time!

Just interesting to see that you have very similar birds as we do down here in Georgia.

If I were closer, I'll take you up on the challenge/invite to join you for the Big January invite.


Seasonal Activities said...

Nice picture!!!

Kathie Brown said...

Larry, I was wondering if you were going to do it! Now that you are, I probably will. I can't avoid it really as I will be out counting birds at first light anyways! Love the shot of the pileated! I still have not seen one in MA!

Kathie Brown said...

P.S. Big January update: I have 27 species so far! Come see photos and list on my blog!

Larry said...

Andre-You could still do it and compare notes with other birders in or out of your area.

Kathie-I wasn't sure if I was interested to do it this year due to gas and trael expense but it makes January more interesting.I'll post later this week and try to put up a running total on my sidebar.

Chris said...

That Pileated woodpecker is a real plus... Magnificent beast that I would love to see... Nice message Larry and I also wanted to wich a happy new year...