Since it was mostly rainy during the counting I did I took most of the pictures on this post from inside. I also thought I'd try out some new settings to help with the poor light. This was also one of the only times I've used the optical zoom on this camera too. While it helps to get pictures of the birds at a distance, the quality isn't as good.
Pine Siskins have made their debut for the year in the garden during both bird counts I've done. They shared the bird feeder together for a long time.February 12 (counted for one hour)
Black-capped Chickadee 7
Chestnut-backed Chickadee 2
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
Bewick's Wren 2
Song Sparrow 1
Dark-eyed Junco 10
Spotted Towhee in a just starting to bloom forsythia bush. I used the Optical zoom from inside and set the ISO to high. A couple of friends that do photography for a living told me that raising the ISO helps prevent the need to use flash. Not that good of a picture, more of an experiment with the settings.February 13 (counted for 45 minutes)
Black-capped Chickadee 4
Chestnut-backed Chickadee 2
American Crow 3
Song Sparrow 1
Dark-eyed Junco 5
Pine Siskin 7
American Robin 5
Spotted Towhee 1
I've been trying for awhile to get a picture of how some of the Juncos look here this winter. There are quite a few with these white patches all over their body. Some have much more white than this one. Any ideas to what it could be?
February 14 (counted for 45 minutes)
Black-capped Chickadee 4
Chestnut-backed Chickadee 3
American Robin 5
Townsend's Warbler 1
Spotted Towhee 2
Anna's Hummingbird 1
Dark-eyed Junco 6
European Starling 1
February 15 (counted 30 minutes)
Black-capped Chickadees 7
Chestnut-backed Chickadees 4
Pine Siskins 2
Bewick's Wren 2
Dark-eyed Junco 5
American Crow 1
It's pretty interesting to go to the detailed reports page to see which states have had the most checklist or types of species turned in. I noticed that in our town's results only one Townsend's Warbler was seen during the whole count, and that was from my count.
Kylee at Our Little Acre will be putting together a post with links to bloggers that participated in the Bird Count.
Look at you, quick to blame the cat! Maybe the birds were just having a lovers quarrel. Or one said something about the other's mother.ReplyDelete
That’s funny Liza! Yep, poor cats get blamed for a lot around here when I know it may not have been them. lol...ReplyDelete
I have the same finch feeder you have! Wild Birds Unlimited I think was that purchase. We have so many birds that I should partake in the bird count. We are overrun with Cardinals as they seem to flourish in our yard. I was able to get a great video of them during the snow at the feeders. I will get them on the blog hopefully by Thursdays post. Right now, I am seeing a Blue Jay and Mocking bird fighting in the cypress tree! I also spotted something at the blue bird house. Them and the Titmouse both claim that house. I think all the birds are starting to claim their territory and nest building spots. Spring is near…
Our birds have been scurrying around a little on the agressive side, nothing like what you are trying to blame on the poor cat though, lol. Probably nesting issues or mating..my redneck guess. I'll be posting my totals later tonight or in the morning...I didn't do it by day, I did a grand total of individual birds. I'd love to see a Junco with or without spots...(maybe they are freckles) hahahaReplyDelete
Not sure what was up with the strange bird "fight". Maybe they were fighting over a possible love interest.ReplyDelete
Our bluebirds have been regularly visiting our bluebird house. Seems awfully early for that.
Wow, you spent a lot of time observing birds! Good for you! I just did two 15-20 minutes stints. It was bitterly cold here, so I had to do it from inside, which wasn't great for photography!ReplyDelete
Dear Catherine, I am very pleasantly surprised at the number of birds you have observed in each of your 'watching' sessions. I am also highly impressed that you clearly recognise them all - I am absolutely sure that I would not be able to.ReplyDelete
I would guess molting/changing to breeding colors for the junco and fierce mating-related territorial behav. for the chickadees, but I'm no expert. Thanks for showing the pine siskins, they have been here too and I didn't know what they were! Thought it was some kind of sparrow.ReplyDelete
Fun to see what you "got"! Bet there were other warblers around, but you were the only one who noticed. :)
I would guess territorial aggressiveness going on Catherine. Chickadees can be pretty feisty! Great you saw a Townsend's Warbler! ;>)ReplyDelete
I witnessed something similar between a black capped chickadee and a boreal chickadee. They were fighting (their ladies were watching from nearby branches) over the use of a nestbox I had installed earlier. I called it a "smackdown" in my birding notes, as they actually went down into the brush and on the ground grappling and flapping. Very dramatic for chickadees! Interestingly enough, every year since then chickadees of various kinds fight over it in spring. Like human real estate, I guess: Location, location, location.ReplyDelete
Christine in Alaska
I am beginning to see blue birds like Susie in MS. I enjoyed reading about all the different birds you counted.ReplyDelete
I'm not surprised they appeared to be unhurt when you got closer. From what I understand, it's very rare for birds to go beyond aggressive posturing - the price of an injury (typically certain death) seems to make their aggressive tendencies more a matter of show.ReplyDelete
I miss the Black Capped Chicadees. Never have I seen a Junco. Very niceReplyDelete
How fun! Love your bird pics, even the experimental ones.ReplyDelete
Around here the Killdeers do a little "wounded dance" to lure you from their little ones.
Yay! It was so fabulous to read your bird count...wow! awesome and interesting! Great shots. I know I can always come for a visit here and get my "birding- fix"!! we are kindreds in that way! Another Marvelous post!ReplyDelete
Nice bird pics and count! I've never participated in the bird count, but will one day. Until then, I'll enjoy your log! Thank you!ReplyDelete
Never seen a Townsend's Warbler pretty good bird! The Pine Siskins are cool aren't they. We have them mix with the goldfinches here.
What wonderful pictures! Some of those birds I have not seen around here. I think the Towhee's are so pretty.ReplyDelete
So much fun watching birds. Unfortunate for me, I don't have that many. Ops ... a couple or two per day - that's it! oh oooooo ...ReplyDelete
It's fun to read the various Bird count reports. I don't do these counts (because I don't know enough birds) but I sure enjoy reading what others are seeing. We love and have lots of juncos, too, but I've never seen any colouring like that.ReplyDelete
Hi Catherine, great job counting!! I only got a chance to count on Saturday morning...and not for long. I love your little Juncos..ours look different. I will have to check the book to see what ours full name is.ReplyDelete
As for your Chickadees fighting, made me think of the hummingbirds and the Goldfinches that really tangle it up.
Will have to check out Kylee's blog, have been really busy and haven't been visiting as much as usual.
I actually participated this year and even filled out the detailed report online. I was surprised at how easy it was. It even had all local birds so all I had to do was fill it in. I think your birds are getting feisty for mating season. They can be funny for sure. P.S. I'm going to try to figure out that twitter feed thing for my blog too.ReplyDelete
Thanks for all your comments. I think the birds must have been fighting due to mating season starting up. Several birds seem to be trying to claim one birdhouse now, maybe that was the problem.ReplyDelete
Today we had so many birds visiting, too bad the counting didn't go on through today.
Karen - I hadn't thought about the coloring being due to molting, that would make sense.
How many varieties of birds come to drink to your Birdhouse!
Here, I woke with the singing of the birds of the forest, a sign that spring is upon us now .....
I Think that two little birds arguing because she wanted to decide for the furnishing of the nest, we women are always the usual, ahahahaah!
Your blog reminds me of spring and summer to come while I'm still shovelling out my car. It makes me happy.ReplyDelete
So I've got a Happy 101 award for you at my post today.
What a wonderful variety of birds, Catherine. I did not have the opportunity to participate in the bird count this year, but I hope to take part next year. What a fun project. I too am struggling with what works best with my camera when photographing birds. It is challenging at times, but delightful when one comes out that exceeds your expectations!ReplyDelete
The pine siskens don't stop here...but the chickadees are here year round! I had fun watching and counting them, too...gailReplyDelete
Great post Catherine! I did the bird count this year too but I have yet to post about it. I guess I should get in gear, huh?!ReplyDelete
I agree with everyone that the Chickadees must be fighting over territory. Your garden is the hot spot of the neighborhood I bet!!!
PS I didn't have any luck germinating primula veris seeds until I placed them outdoors. I think they need cold??? Frances has started them successfully and I believe she said she gives them a cool treatment too? You have a green thumb tho so maybe they'll just pop up for you. You definitely live in the perfect climate for primulas (at least it seems) so good luck! If they germinate, you'll love them!ReplyDelete
Well, you have inspired me to keep my bird feeder continually filled and to try to see what types of birds like to visit. I do have finches, sparrows and doves on a regular basis, but am now on the lookout for other species. Your pictures are wonderful to see and your numbers impressive.ReplyDelete
I am so envious. Not only you watch so many birds visit but you can recognize them all. Impressive.ReplyDelete
Wow so many different birds !!ReplyDelete
We had a Towhee one year for 2 minutes only...odd.
Love the juncos...seem so gentle.
Great to see others selection of birds depending where they live.
You've got some lovely birds there. How come other people's birds always look more interesting?!ReplyDelete
I was ill in bed with flu when the Great British Bird Count happened, so it didn't happen in our garden this year even though we get plenty of birds visiting. I'll try not to be ill next year! :)
This has been fun, following Kylee's links to other bloggers who have participated in GBBC.ReplyDelete
How different things are in your part of the country from here in Wisconsin!
The white coloring in the Juncos, even though there's just a small amount of it, is partial albinism. Here in Wisconsin our only hope of seeing Juncos is during the winter's months. Hence the reason they are referred to as 'Snow Birds' here.
I am envious of the Pine Siskins at your feeders as we have seen none this winter. Last winter there were many finches and frequent visits to the thistle feeders.
I was surprised to learn that forsythia begins to bloom so early out there! Typically we will see it start here in April or late March if we are lucky.
Enjoyed your photos, and now am tempted to try fiddling around with the ISO settings under similar situation. When I requested my husband's help to remove the screen from the window between me & the feeding station, he questioned my sanity! But I was hoping it would aid with focusing. And it did.
Enjoyed your blog.