Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Starting Fresh

Posted by Kirk
Welcome to 2009.

2009 started off painfully slow for birding. Not a single bird came to my feeders on January 1st. The only thing that stopped me from being totally skunked was a flock of pigeons I saw in the distance. On the drive to my parents house for out annual fondue dinner there were no crows, no red-tailed hawks, nada. It was very strange. At their house there were no birds at the feeders as well.

Friday the 2nd, I didn't see any birds either but the seeds in my fly-though feeder had been moved around so something had been in there while I wasn't looking. Driving to work on Saturday, the birds started to show themselves. There were some crows in the trees. Finally, birds.

As I walked up the sidewalk to work I saw blue jays and nuthatches and black-capped chickadees.

When I came inside I swung past the windows overlooking the feeders and was delighted to also see two wild turkeys, downy woodpeckers, hairy woodpeckers, a red-bellied woodpecker and a flock of American goldfinches.

I did hear a pileated as well as a barred owl hooting in the woods but I only count birds I see so those will have to wait.

Sunday the 4th of January I finally discovered who was eating the seeds out of the fly-through feeder. There are a pair of House Sparrows that swing by every so often.

Monday the 5th of January I didn't think I was going to see anything new but while putting things away in the lower classroom I noticed a couple of birds "frozen" on the feeders as though there was a predator in the area. I took a look out the windows but couldn't see any hawks or shrikes. What I did see was my first Pileated Woodpecker of the year.

Tuesday the 6th I finally saw a Red-tailed hawk on my drive to work.

On Wednesday the 7th we went on a planning retreat to the St. Croix Watershed Research Station. They have some fantastic springs that stay open all winter and attract wildlife. I saw a few species I had seen already such a white breasted nuthatch, downy woodpeckers and black-capped chickadee. I did see some new ones for the year. First up was mallard ducks. There were also lots of American Robins around the stream that goes into the St. Croix River. There was one sneaky European Starling mixed in the group. I stepped out on a break and spotted a few Cedar Waxwings which was good timing as I didn't see them again all day. On a hike I also saw a brown creeper which was fun because I haven't been seeing them around the feeders yet this winter. There were two disappointing misses. I didn't see a bald eagle that was apparently there and someone just ahead of me flushed a Wilson's snipe out of a spring area. I'll have to go back some time this winter to see the snipe as apparently it is almost always there.

What I haven't seen (but expect to shortly) are juncos, purple finches, northern cardinals, pine siskins, pheasant, bald eagle, and starlings.

I'd like to see 20 birds in January and I'm pretty close in just he first 7 days.

2009 Running Tally
1. Rock Pigeon
2. American Crow
3. Blue Jay
4. White-breasted Nuthatch
5. Wild Turkey
6. Black-capped Chickadee
7. Downy Woodpecker
8. Hairy Woodpecker
9. Red-bellied Woodpecker
10. American Goldfinch
11. House Sparrow
12. Pileated Woodpecker
13. Red-tailed Hawk
14. Mallard Duck
15. Cedar Waxwing
16. American Robin
17. European Starling
18. Brown Creeper


dAwN said...

I wonder where all the birdies were....good thing they came back...
Happy Birding..
nice blog