This has not been a winter of rarities around the Avalon. I keep checking the bird postings hoping that something really special is going to show up. Even waxwings would make me happy at this point.
When rarities are scarce, what's a birder supposed to do? Get out and enjoy what is here and enjoy the chase for the hard-to-find ones that are here.
I took a drive out to Cape Spear this morning and came across several flocks of A. Robins from New Cove Road to Shea Heights, to Blackhead to Cape Spear. Saw a great adult Bald Eagle filling up a tree top just before Blackhead Road.
I managed to see several flocks of Pine Siskins, Purple Finches, three Pine Grosbeaks, Blue Jays and A. Goldfinch. The new one for me today was a Ruffed Grouse, a new one for my Winter List and Year's list that is. I was fortunate that another birder with whom I had chatted earlier, turned around and came back to tell me about a Hairy Woodpecker that he saw just west of Maddox Cove Road. On the way back he spotted the grouse and waved me over as I drove up. In all likelihood that will be the last bird that I will be able to add to my Winter List as Wednesday is the last day.
I found this Song Sparrow in Maddox Cove. While I have seen four or five around during this winter, they are still scarce enough to grab my attention.
I struck out with the Red-bellied Woodpecker this morning as well as the Lincoln Sparrow. WhenI returned home, the snow had just started and my backyard activity picked up. I tossed out some feed and stood very still by my patio door and enjoyed a couple of Purple Finch and some Dark-eyed Juncos.
I haven't had many Purple Finch this year, so I still get excited when they drop in. They didn't stay long, but I was able to shoot some pictures through the glass without disturbing them.
Today, it was only a pair of P. Finch. Come to think of it, I did notice today that the birds seem to be pairing up all around. That is a good sign of "out with Winter; and in with Spring."
I really looked my backyard Junco's over closely today. There is a lot of brown on the female, much more than we realize when looking at them at a distance.
I took quite a few shots of the Juncos and will probably post them before too long. I don't get much time to go birding these days, but I still feel the pull, all the time.
It was really an unexpected pleasure to be able to go out this morning. When I heard the wind roaring last night, I didn't think there would be a chance that I would go out in it. Nevertheless, at 7 a.m., not a branch was stirring and the temp was inviting. When an opportunity like that arises, I just have to get out. I am not the only one as I ran into four other birders this morning ,and I am guessing that more have travelled down the Southern Shore today.
I will check the postings now to see if there is some place else that I should be right now.