Monthly Archive for February, 2011

The Birds of February

Here is my February bird list. The birds in italics are new to my master list.

Anna’s Hummingbird
American Robin
American Wigeon*
Bald Eagle
Black-capped Chickadee
Bushtit*
Canada Goose
Dark-eyed Junco
European Starling
Glaucous-winged Gull
Great Blue Heron
House Finch
Mallard
Northern Flicker
Northern Pintail*
Northwestern Crow
Rock Pigeon
Song Sparrow
Spotted Towhee
Stellar’s Jay
Varied Thrush
Winter Wren

Beyond those, I think I also spotted a Belted Kingfisher and a number of Cooper’s Hawks and/or Red-tailed Hawks. Unfortunately, my novice eyes didn’t get a long enough look to be sure.

The dog

This is the dog. I’ve known him for almost ten years now. We often sit together and discuss philosophy. He is a loyal companion and although he can be territorial at times, I find no unpleasant traces of nationalism in him. Only his coprophagous leanings are somewhat off-putting.

Blackie Spit

My wife and I took the dog for a short walk about Blackie Spit last weekend. Somehow we managed to time it just right and were able to stay dry despite the variable weather. It’s changed quite a bit since we moved away from that area ten years ago and I like the improvements that have been made to protect the birds.

At first, I was disappointed with the restrictions now placed on dog owners, but after narrowly avoiding quite a few piles of dog poop, I remembered that there are a lot of pretty poor pet owners out there and thought it just as well. Since we had our dog with us, some areas were off limits to us, but we still saw a lot of birds (12 species in total that day) and I was able to sort out some of the duck issues I was having with my bird list. We saw Mallards, American Wigeons and the Northern Pintail, which I find to be one of the most striking puddle ducks. My wife was thrilled with the number of Great Blue Herons we saw. We also spotted a number of hawks on the way there, but I haven’t added them to my bird list yet as I’m still not sure I’ve identified them correctly. I think at least one was a Cooper’s Hawk.

Unfortunately, we also saw a lot of people down there and I think I’ll look for more remote locations for future birding. Why anybody would want to live like a sardine in busy Crescent Beach is beyond me.

The Great Backyard Bird Count

Robin perched on branchThis weekend will be the first time I’ve participated in The Great Backyard Bird Count. All one has to do is spend at least 15 minutes of one of the days counting birds. However, one can do more if one chooses. The count runs from February 18th through February 21st.

Time to top up my feeder!

For more information on how to participate, click here.