For the final day of GBBC 2017 I went with Maria, my sister Mary, and my mom to Smithville Park. Last year my mom, sister, and I went to Smithville for the count while the lake was frozen and it was snowing (you can read about our trip last year here). This year it was cool and breezy, but much warmer. Instead of just walking around the lake we took the longer trail into Smith’s Woods.
One of the first birds we spotted was this lovely female Northern Cardinal. We heard chipping coming from the trees and it took us a few minutes to find the source of the sound. She flew over and perched on a nearby tree to allow us to admire her. I think female cardinals are so beautiful.
Last year Common Mergansers spent part of the winter on Smithville Lake. They are back again this winter. As usual, they were just out of good camera range for me, but they were fun to watch. They were actually sleeping for a bit (Common Mergansers float on the water while sleeping). I’m happy that they returned to Smithville again. They were also a life bird for Maria, making it her second life bird this weekend.
Day 4 Official Count
- 7 Canada Geese
- 12 Common Mergansers
- 4 Black Vultures
- 7 Turkey Vultures
- 2 Red-tailed Hawks
- 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker (male)
- 2 Downy Woodpeckers (male and female)
- 1 Hairy Woodpecker (drumming)
- 2 Blue Jays
- 2 American Crows
- 8 Carolina Chickadees
- 5 Tufted Titmice
- 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
- 1 Carolina Wren
- 3 Northern Cardinals (2 male, 1 female)
It was so fun birding 4 days in a row for the 2017 Great Backyard Bird Count. We won’t know the official results for a few days, but it was a record-setting year for us at BirdNation. These past 4 days Dave, Maria, Mary, my mom, and myself count 45 different species and over 5,000 individual birds! What a weekend!