Thursday, December 24, 2015

Tale of two Christmas Bird Counts

Being ill during a Christmas Bird Count is no fun, but good birds and great company make fine consolations. Christmas Bird Counts have always been magical, even spiritual to me, thanks to the fellowship with the folks I have been lucky enough to share them with and of course the birds. I recently realized that to friends and neighbors who helped me with the Cape May count this year had never done a Christmas Bird Count before. This is the birding equivalent of failing to invite someone to church.

[This eastern screech owl came in to my whistles at 6:50 AM, when it was nearly daylight. That's one aggressive owl. By the way, these photos are essentially straight from my camera, having only been cropped and resized using the free program Picasa, since I don't have access to Adobe products right now. Click to enlarge all photos.]

Mainly what I did for last weekend's counts was sit in the passenger seat as one or another of my kids drove us from place to place. Every now and then I would get out to look and listen, but now on day 28 of what has been called a "viral syndrome," I only recently have been able to walk any distance. We did the Walnut Valley count on Saturday, and the Cape May count on Sunday.

[Winter wrens are always elusive to photograph, so I was pleased this one came right up to the truck with some pishing. Delaware lake, Warren County, New Jersey on Saturday.]

[Juvenile great blue heron fishing in Delaware lake, Warren County, New Jersey. With the warm fall, all water was open for both of my Christmas counts last weekend an unusual condition.]

[A colorful male yellow bellied sapsucker, Always a good find on a New Jersey Christmas Bird Count. This one was near Delaware lake.]

[A definite highlight on the Cape may count was three red-headed woodpeckers. All were on the edge of Green Creek, on Cape may national wildlife refuge the property. Sick as I was, I nearly collapsed walking the half-mile to the standing dead trees that line Green Creek Marsh, and was very glad the woodpeckers were there to make it worthwhile for me and my son Tim.]

[A scene from a little over a week ago, when a sizable number of humpback whales move close to shore off Cape May County. This one was seen from the handicap accessible platform at 2 mile beach. ]

-Posted using BlogPress from my iPad.

No comments:

Post a Comment