Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I did the Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend. First time in a few years. Last time, I think, was on the Big Island. Big difference in species composition between the two sites!

Over the weekend (F-Su-M), I noted 22 species from our yard. The Pine Siskin irruption this year is massive and we have hosted a few for several weeks now. Daily high counts were 25-7-14. Common Redpolls arrived just in time for the count, with 6-1-2 enjoying the thistle/niger/nyjer. We've got Song (1), American Tree (3), and White-throated (1) Sparrows hanging out, and for the first time this winter a Hairy Woodpecker came to the suet usually reserved for the Downies. Most of my counting has been through the windows, but while I was outside on Sunday a Pine Grosbeak whistled from atop the spruce and this afternoon a lone Bohemian Waxwing made an appearance at the top of a creekside tree (that's only the second time I've seen a 'PIGR' in the yard and the first 'BOWA' for more than a year -- nice timing!). Finally, yes, a couple of robins continue their search for snow-worms in the side yard.

The birdcount.org website is quite well done. I like to look at the New England maps cycling through the years for species like the siskin and redpoll, which invade one year and skip the next with remarkable regularity.

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