I recently participated in the annual Salmon River Christmas bird count. The territory we cover is right in my home town which is very convenient. The top photo is a view overlooking Kelsey's Pond in Portland. It was a chilly day but there was plenty of sunshine.
There was an abundance of White-breasted Nuthatches. The females like the one above have a gray cap versus the males which have a dark black cap.
There were some species we expected to see that we didn't find this year including kinglets and creepers. We were surprised that we couldn't find a single Northern Mockingbird. Shh!- don't tell anyone!
This Pileated Woodpecker was partly to blame. It stayed at the same tree chiseling away while the three of us stared in awe! They really stand out from all the other woodpeckers in Connecticut. It was a female which lacks red in the moustache and has a blackish forehead. Usually they fly off once they notice you but this one wouldn't budge. We couldn't peel ourselves away to get on with the count.
Some of our favorite sightings for the day included: Hermit Thrush, Eastern Bluebirds, Hooded Mergansers, 2 adult Bald Eagles, Common Goldeneye, and a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Nothing earth shattering but we had lots of fun.
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For those of you who may be wondering, I have decided to do a Big January again this year. Big January is when you count all the species you see in your home state (or whatever) between January 1st and January 31st. I welcome you to join me in this annual tradition.
This year I'm going to try to reduce the amount of miles I drive by walking, biking, busing, and carpooling when possible. If you like this idea then I encourage you to give it a try.