Over the past few years it’s been a tradition to go to Haddon Lake Park for the Great Backyard Bird Count. The tradition continued today, this time with my mom, sister Mary, and best friend/original bird teacher Maria.
It was certainly a different experience than the past few years. 2 years ago Dave and I went out in the snow to watch hundreds of Canada Geese land in the lake. Last year, my mom, sister, and I went there in 18 degree to watch the “waterfowl highway” from the car. (You can read about last year’s Day 2 of GBBC at this link.) This year was sunny and around 60 degrees, so we saw 16 more species than we did last year.
The Mallards and Canada Geese were relaxing by the water at the beginning of the loop. There were also a few Ring-billed Gulls. One seemed to be a 1st winter gull due to his pink bill, pale legs, and overall darker plumage, while the others were adults.
Farther up the path it becomes more wooded. There were a variety of small birds in this area. We spotted Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, American Robins, a Dark-eyed Junco, and a large flock of 150+ European Starlings. Maria and Mary even had the chance to add a new bird to their life lists: a Brown Creeper. I’ve seen them before, but this was my first time finding one at Haddon Lake.
There was also an American Coot swimming around with some Canada Geese. Throughout the years of going to Haddon Lake we’ve seen Coots at random times, but there is always just one. It makes me wonder if it’s the same one or a different one each time. It was cute swimming around with birds that were much bigger.
Other birds we observed were a White-breasted Nuthatch, a Red-winged Blackbird (that Maria could pick out/hear in the middle of a group of noisy Starlings!), some Song Sparrows, American Crows, Turkey Vultures, and this (possibly) 2nd winter Ring-billed Gull.
We ended our walk by running into The Squad (a.k.a a bunch of white domestic geese). Not a group I’d want to mess with hahaha. :-p
Day 2 Official Count
- 100 Canada Geese
- 104 Mallards
- 2 Turkey Vultures
- 1 American Coot
- 5 Ring-billed Gulls (3 adults, 1 1st winter, 1 2nd winter)
- 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
- 1 Downy Woodpecker
- 2 Blue Jays
- 2 American Crows
- 6 Carolina Chickadees
- 5 Tufted Titmouse
- 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
- 1 Brown Creeper
- 1 Carolina Wren
- 160 European Starlings
- 1 Dark-eyed Junco
- 2 Song Sparrows
- 1 Northern Cardinal
- 1 Red-winged Blackbird (male)
Overall, it was a great count. It was a lovely day and we had a total of 20 species. Tomorrow Dave and I are going down to Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge for Day 3, another GBBC tradition. Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!
Have you participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count yet? You still have 2 more days to participate! If you went on a bird count so far, what have you seen?