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Friday, February 15, 2013

Great Backyard Bird Count - Day 1

The birds had to start without me this morning. I was a late riser and the dawn chorus had long since ended by the time I managed to drag myself out of dreamland and into the outdoor world.

But, as it happens, in my dreamscape, I was seeing birds. I often dream of birds so perhaps it wasn't strange that I should be seeing them in my dreams on the morning when I should have been outside counting them. The thing is they were very vivid. There was a Northern Cardinal. There was an exotic bird - Indian, I think -whose name I couldn't dredge up.  And there was a particularly detailed Great Horned Owl who sat in a hollow tree and blinked his eyes at me. Too bad I can't include dream birds in my count. I would love to report a Great Horned Owl.

Outside, many of the usual suspects were around. I ended the day with a species count of 23. There are at least a dozen more common species that I've seen around the yard this week who didn't show themselves today. Maybe they will turn up before the count ends on Monday.  Meantime, here are the ones that I saw today, in the order that I saw them.

 1. Turkey Vulture
 2. Northern Cardinal
 3. American Goldfinch
 4. Pine Siskin
 5. Rufous Hummingbird
 6. Pine Warbler
 7. House Sparrow
 8. Red-bellied Woodpecker
 9. Carolina Chickadee
10. Blue Jay
11. Tufted Titmouse
12. Mourning Dove
13. Eastern Bluebird
14. Chipping Sparrow
15. American Robin
16. Common Grackle
17. Yellow-rumped Warbler
18. White-winged Dove
19. Carolina Wren
20. Downy Woodpecker
21. Brown-headed Nuthatch
22. Cedar Waxwing
23. Ruby-crowned Kinglet 

My count was dominated by Pine Siskins. There were at least fifty of the noisy little finches present at the feeders. The goldfinches ran a close second.

The Carolina Chickadees were busily house-hunting today. As it happens though, this box already has a bluebird nest and one blue egg in it.

One of the two Rufous Hummingbirds that made it onto my count takes a sip from one of my feeders.

Late in the day, a small flock of Cedar Waxwings came calling. It was so late that the light was fading and conditions for photography were not optimum, but I couldn't resist trying.

Tomorrow I'll be counting in my yard again, but I also get to go to Brazos Bend State Park for a picnic, and, of course, I'll also be counting birds there! .


  1. It's interesting that you get so many Pine Siskins. We never get a flock but just one or two individuals mixed in with groups of American Goldfinch.

    1. Indeed. We've been overrun with the little guys. Flocks of fifty at the feeders are not uncommon.