Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Birdie weekend

This was kind of a birdie weekend for us. The weather has been so mild and the forecast for Saturday looked like it was going to be pretty nice so we decided to head out to Boy Scout beach for a nice walk along the beach without the "science equipment" or looking specifically for dead birds. We were interested to see if the eagle carcass was still on the beach. There was talk on the local "eaglechat" about having a permit to collect the features for the National Repository so we really doubted we would see it again.

It did happen to be Backyard Bird Count weekend (Feb 17-20) and our walking friends decided to keep a list and submit it. We counted 1 Fox Sparrow, 3 Eagles, 7 Bufflehead, 4 Common merganser, 36 Canada goose, 2 Harlequin ducks, 7 Mallards, and 293 Gulls (probably Herring). There was some debate if there was 294 or 292 and a few kept flying from one sand dune to the other so we decided to go with 293. It ended up snowing on us which was a little unexpected so we didn't want to lounge around like we had entended.

On Sunday I put up a suet holder that I had gotten for Christmas. I waited until I thought the major wind storms passes as I didn't want it to get up going through a windows. With in about 3 minutes after putting it up and walking away the crows started arriving. Ended up with 60-75 crows poking at it or waiting turn underneath to get the seeds. Talk about an Alfred Hitchcock experience! Tim went out and took it down. We'll have to find a nicer neighborhood for the suet.

We had a lot of birds in the channel in front of the house. There were the usual Barrow's Goldeneyes, Bufflehead, Mallard, Common Mergansers, a Red-Necked Grebe and Glaucous-winged gulls along with Crows (still looking for suet), Ravens, and Eagles. Out in the middle of the channel Tim spotted a large gathering of birds that had the shape of a loon or a grebe. Upon further inspection with the spotting scope we determined that they were Pacific Loons - there were about 100 of them. We've never seen the solitary birds grouped up like that before. I haven't heard anything from the birdie people about the group but we ruled out what else they might have been. Too far to get a good picture - even in the scope it was shaky.

Then to round out the weekend we had chicken grilled on the bbq!

1 comment:

Marc Olson said...

I had a birdie weekend, too, on the Gulf coast here in Yucatan: flamingos, pelicans, cormorants, and various species of ducks, herons, and egrets, as far as I could ID them without my binocs or bird book. And, the usual parrots in the back yard when I got home.

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