An Amateur Birdwatcher's tally
Did you participate in the Great Backyard Birding count? I did. Two days last weekend I counted birds in the area. It was interesting, though I didn’t come across any unusual birds. I enjoy doing feeder watch and GBBC counts. It makes me feel like a part of a community. Also, I feel I am contributing to science. I am not a scientist, but I can help real professionals with data about birds, where they are, how many and what they are doing.
So, on Saturday, I visited one of my favorite spots near Emerald Downs in Auburn, WA. I’ve spoken of this rural like spot in my blog before. I saw three types of ducks, a Hawk, a blue Heron, a Robin, and a whole bunch of crows. It was about 4:30 in the afternoon and all the crows were settling in for the night. Also, there was a batch of Canada geese surrounded by hundreds of starlings. I wished that there was killdeer but, though I looked hard, I saw none. That was my first count.
Then, on Sunday, I went out to Flaming Geyser Park. Of course, I took my dogs, as usual. Maggie and Katie had not been out to the park for 2 weeks because of the snow. Katie particularly was excited. Flaming geyser park is her favorite place in the world except for home.
We counted five species even before we left home. At the feeders were white crowned sparrow's, house sparrows, juncos, scrub Jays, and chickadees. As we drove through the city streets, we saw pigeons, Seagulls, and crows on lawns and lamp posts. A big red-tailed Hawk also perched on a lamp post off the freeway. That made 9 before we started our birding properly.
Along the way, we saw 2 blue herons, mallard ducks, Canada geese, another Hawk- not sure what kind, and Robins mixed with starlings. The temperature stayed steady at 36 degrees. Much of the water, in ponds and in the fields and in the streams, was iced over.
But Katie and I walked in the park. The songs of 2 Red Wing blackbirds followed us throughout the stroll. The ferns were frozen, disappointing my little dog who absolutely loves those ferns. I thought I saw a wren, but I wasn't sure, so I didn't count it. We wandered for about 30 minutes, more dog walking then bird watching.
A kingfisher hung out over the marsh. A blue heron stood in the icy water undisturbed by the chill. Here in the park, snow still rests on the ground. Little Katie Hops and leaps like a Jack rabbit. She doesn't seem to mind the white stuff. But it is awful chilly. So, we pull back into the car and head home.
For the past several weeks we've witnessed to 2 kestrels on wires but this week they are missing. 17 species of birds aren’t a bad deal. Later, at Walmart, I watched blackbirds and snapped some pictures. But I didn't count those in my Sunday list because it was later. Check out my gallery of pictures on bird paparazzi.
This week, author Pamela Murrey broke her right wrist. She is right handed so some of her posts over the next few weeks maybe delayed.
I love birdwatching. It's relaxing and fun. Even though I've been birding for over 10 years I classify myself as an amateur birder. I plan to write a blog each month about my experiences. Hope you enjoy them!