It's the Great Backyard Bird Count! I can't recall how I heard about it but there was an article in the newspaper yesterday so, never one to let an oddball opportunity pass, I got online, read the FAQs, set up an account (it's free), and then printed out the checklist so we could get to work. We have mostly house sparrows and black-capped chickadees but there're always a few more interesting birds in the mix. Yesterday afternoon I saw a raptor of some kind way up high in the sky but couldn't identify it, even if I could have found it with my binoculars. I tried too. Its underparts and the undersides of its wings were all white so I looked into the bird ID books but couldn't decide which one. Ah well. Today we've seen a mourning dove, a crow, goldfinches, house finches, dark-eyed juncos, cardinals, and a bajillion house sparrows. I was thrilled when a downy woodpecker showed up yesterday afternoon. I wish a hawk would come by or a bluejay would decide to stop over for a minute. The count's still on today and tomorrow if you want to get in on the fun. I'm thinking of finding a place away from home to sit and count, maybe by the river or the wildlife sanctuary so I could maybe see an eagle. Word has it that they've been very active lately. But it's really too cold to sit outside, even for their 15 minute minimum count duration. Maybe I'll go sit out at Barkhausen. They've got a very busy feeder outside a window of the visitor center... maybe. I know Durwood won't come; it's way too cold for him to go out. He went yesterday and said he had a big problem breathing while he was out. (needless to say most of these are not current photos)
February 17--Tiffany & Co., Tray. Moonlight turned the surface of the pond to silver. The night was so still that there wasn't a ripple. The edge of the pond was blurry with reeds and a chorus of lovesick frogs sang accompanied by chirping crickets. Elysse walked around by the path holding her wrap tight around her shoulders though the night was warm. Her tears had dried on the walk over the lawn down to the pond. It was dark under the trees and the croaking and chirping stilled as she passed.
Well, that's not bad, is it. It'll continue tonight, I suppose. I'm off to count more birdies, and maybe even get dressed. Who knows? It could happen.