Birder's Eye View

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Oh, right! The GBBC!

College has this fantastic way of blurring the days together such that you lose yourself in the academic world, and neglect to nurture your need for the quiet solitude of nature.

Well, this morning I realized that when I woke up thinking about the Great Backyard Bird Count. It occured to me that I missed its first two days! I threw my birding gear into a bag and took off down the road on my bike to my favorite birding spot on campus.

It was still early enough for many birds to be roosting in the oak grove and around the pond. After tallying up the many vultures blinking sleepily at me from their perches, I turned my attention to the multitude of Lesser Scaups floating around in the water.

There seemed to be two seperate flocks of them, totalling 34 individuals.

There were also quite a few Mottle Ducks swimming around, as well as Coots and Moorhens.

I had never seen the above duck before, so it wasn't until I got back to my dorm and looked it up that I realized I had seen a beautiful male Blue-winged Teal! That's a lifer. Very cool duck, and one I definitely wasn't expecting to see.

It was a delightfully refreshing hike around the pond and through the oak grove, and a good reminder to myself that I need to take a break from college sometimes and make some time for myself.

Well, until next time,

Happy birding.

My GBBC report:

Observation Date: FEB 15, 2009
Start Time: 9:30 AM
Total Birding Time: 1 hour
Party Size: 1
Skill: good
Weather: good
-coniferous woods
-salt water
Number of Species: 25
All Reported: yes
Mottled Duck - 8
Blue-winged Teal - 1
Lesser Scaup - 34
Brown Pelican - 2
Double-crested Cormorant - 30
Anhinga - 5
Great Egret - 2
Snowy Egret - 1
Roseate Spoonbill - 1
Wood Stork - 1
Black Vulture - 20
Turkey Vulture - 12
Osprey - 2
Common Moorhen - 3
American Coot - 3
Laughing Gull - 16
Ring-billed Gull - 1
Rock Pigeon - 3
Monk Parakeet - 2
Blue Jay - 1
Fish Crow - 6
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher - 1
Northern Mockingbird - 1
Palm Warbler - 12
Northern Cardinal - 1

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