Friday, February 16, 2007

The First 20 Birds of 2007

Posted by Kirk
It has begun! I have started counting birds in 2007. I have a three month head start on last year (not that it will help.) The first ten birds I spotted were rather predictable. On new year's day I saw only two kinds of birds. I spotted crows and rock pigeons. No huge surprise there.

Returning to work the next day a quick visit to the feeders gained me white breasted nuthatches, black capped chickadees, American goldfinches, red-bellied woodpeckers, downy woodpeckers, and hairy woodpeckers. While talking to Tom Anderson in his office a pileated woodpecker flew through the woods. That made nine. I didn't spot any birds then until Thursday morning while walking the dog. I purposefully went down an icy alley when I heard birds. There was a huge flock of house sparrows in some mulberry bushes one block east of my house. So, it took me four days to get ten birds.

Rock Pigeon
White Breasted Nuthatch
Black Capped Chickadee
American Goldfinch
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
House Sparrow

For Festivus, my family bought me a pair of binoculars which should be really nice to use. I haven't done any serious birding with them yet but what I have seen so far makes me excited for the year.

Starting on the second ten, I saw a blue jay along Square Lake Trail and a cardinal at Tamarack Nature Center on January 8th. On January 11th I saw a bald eagle at Keller Lake. January 15th I spotted a Pheasant at Lake Elmo regional park and then January 16th a Junco in the corn fields south of Warner along Manning Ave. I've spotted Canada geese several times.

On the 20th Bekah pointed out a flock of Turkeys just south of Warner bringing the total to 15. On the 25th I spotted a brown creeper (finally) and I confirmed that the birds I see almost every day along the highway are in fact red-tailed hawks. I figured they were but no fair counting them on an assumption.

I spied a Mourning Dove at Boot Lake on Feb. 8th. Finally, bird 20 arrived on February 15th as I drove to Marine Elementary for an outreach program. As I passed through the tunnel and under the railroad tracks I saw a bird flit across the road. There was a flash of a white rump and with a second bird I spotted the red breast. I had heard robins hang out along this stretch of road all year because of the springs that keep water open. it was nice to have number 20 be a nice old friend like the robin.

Blue Jay
Northern Cardinal
Canada goose
Brown Creeper
Red-tailed hawk
Mourning Dove
American Robin