Sunday, January 2, 2011

FOY!

Hi First of the Year Yellow Bellied Sapsucker...

First of Year!
And, the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is the perfect way to start our year list.   We spent most of today with Peter Kaestner doing our citizen science thing in the same CBC territory we have enjoyed for the past four years.

And, we are really proud of your yearly Christmas Bird Counts because the information we and all other observers collect from December 14 to January 5th allows researchers and conservation biologists to study the long term health of bird populations across North America.  The data is used to show how bird populations has changed over the past hundred years.

It is also always a treat to bird with Peter.  Being the 8th birder in the world, discovering a new species and seeing over 8,000 birds takes dedication.  It takes standing out in the pouring cold rain, pishing until your lips are chap and walking through acres of brambles to get a bird.

And, that is what we did. Or, I should say, that is mostly what Cute Husband and Peter did.  As, I took a couple of powders to remain in the car, as they pished up the 80th White-throated Sparrow or a nice flock of number Cedar Waxwings... which remain off my 2011 year list due to my enjoyment of car heat.

I did see this gorgeous FOY Red-Shouldered Hawk enjoying a road side meal...  



  The best bird of the day (although, truthfully, they were all most excellent, due to the majority of them being NEW YEAR BIRDS)   was a heard Virginia Rail.  Cute Husband and I heard a tink-ingly sound and stopped  to investigate, while Peter forged ahead in search of the day's elusive Mourning Dove.  After a few minutes we heard "kid dik"  and called Peter for a re-hear.

Of course, this Virginia Rail remained hidden and silent,  but it was a lovely way to start the birding year....

2011 year goal 450.  As of today 41!  

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