Still, one mustn’t be deterred by the weather so I have been birding a few times. The first was a visit to the Water Valley area to the northwest where there was a decent mix of resident birds [Great Gray Owl], winter residents [Northern Shrike, Rough-legged Hawk] and migrants [American Tree Sparrow].
|Great Gray Owl|
Before the last storm hit, I drove east looking to photograph some ducks. They all were very skittish when I approached on foot so the only decent shots I got were taken from my vehicle. I also enjoyed observing different mannerisms of the ducks such as their take-off methods. As shown below, the Northern Pintail explodes upwards from the water whereas the Common Goldeneye runs along the water (or ice) before taking flight.
During last year’s big year, we went birding regardless of the weather; this year I find that I am much more selective with my outings. Similarly, the big year blog had to be written otherwise we would fall too far behind; this year, my blogs have been sporadic with little focus on my distant end target of 5000 species. While waiting for the birds to come back, I am hoping to make some progress compiling my mammal list so I will at least know how far I have to go.