Happy Bird Count weekend everyone! Today is the first day of the Great Backyard Bird Count. I did get to go birding for about 45 minutes today at Boundary Creek with Dave. The temperature here in New Jersey is in the 20’s, so we didn’t stay out too long tonight.
We saw only 6 different species, but counted 114 individual birds. Our Day 1 official list is:
- 71 Canada Geese
- 8 Mallards
- 3 Ring-billed Gulls
- 1 Red-Bellied Woodpecker
- 30 Dark-eyed Juncos
- 1 Song Sparrow
We saw the Dark-eyed Juncos first, scurrying through the grass looking for food. The Song Sparrow landed in a tree and was making a chipping call. This Song Sparrow had a black spot on its chest. There are many variations of Song Sparrows throughout the country. Lighter colored Song Sparrow may be lacking the black spot, but this one had it. We were so close to taking a really great picture, but the sparrow decided to go chase a Junco away, so we missed that opportunity. He or she was looked beautiful sitting in the tree.
We continued on to the beaver pond. It was pretty frozen over, but that’s where we saw the other 4 species. The beaver pond at Boundary Creek is one of my favorite spots to bird watch. When it’s warmer, Dave and I will go there a lot,sometimes 3 or 4 times a week. We’ve seen a large number of bird and some mammal species at the pond. I love seeing how the pond changes from season to season.
Once we arrived at the pond a Red-Bellied Woodpecker flew right over. It flew around above us and sometimes pecked on the trees. After a few minutes it hopped into a nearby hole. I wonder if that woodpecker lives in that hole or if it was just escaping the cold. Sorry it’s not the best quality picture, I was getting pretty dark when we were out.
It was a quiet evening, but I’m glad I was able to get out today to participate in Day 1 of the count. These were not the only bird species I saw today, but the other I saw were while I was traveling to and from work. They are not considered in the count because I did not spend at least 15 minutes in a specific location while seeing them.
Unfortunately, it’s supposed to be the coldest weekend so far this year in New Jersey. There are many advisories about going outside, so I’m hoping I can do a lot of car birding and feeder watching. I’ll keep you updated on what I see.