Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Great Backyard Bird Count

Dan and I decided to fly up to Washington for the weekend. We arrived on Friday morning. Dan immediately started working on his amateur radio equipment. I filled my birdfeeders and set up my camera for the "Great Backyard Bird Count".
The Great Backyard Bird Count is a four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts.
Participants count birds anywhere for as little or as long as they wish during the four day counting period. They tally the highest number of birds of each species seen together at any one time. To report their counts, they fill out an online checklist at the Great Backyard Bird Count web site. As the count progresses, anyone with Internet access can explore what is being reported from their own towns or anywhere in the United States and Canada. They can also see how this year's numbers compare with those from previous years.
A Black-capped Chickadee at the feeder.
This was the first time I had seen a Red Breasted Nut Hatch at the feeders.
A Steller's Jay watches the smaller birds.
And a Spotted Towhee cleans up the spilled seeds.

On Saturday morning I woke before sunrise and dressed for a walk at the Theler Wetlands. The Theler Wetlands covers some 75 acres near Belfair, Washington and the Hood Canal. An agreement between the Wetlands and the Washington State Department of Fish and Game has allowed development of a trail system encompassing 135 acres. Four separate trails are open to the public free of charge during daylight hours, seven days a week. The site is a popular stop for birdwatchers and photographers. There is a wonderful variety of birds throughout the trial system. I arrived ten minutes before the gate was unlocked. When it opened I started down the trail. I saw.......

.........a pair of Mallards........ ......and Northern Pintails.........

........and some Green Winged Teals. I had never seen this one in the wild before although they are apparently fairly common in this area.

Further down the path a stately Great Blue Heron surveyed the trail. .

and overhead -----a sight I never tire of --- a Bald Eagle in flight.

The weekend ends far too soon. Dan and I closed up the house and headed home Monday afternoon. I can hardly wait for Spring Break.


Tina T-P said...

Oh, what beautiful bird pictures! Some blog I was reading had pics of cardinals - bright red - there must have been a dozen of them at their feeder - that would be fun - we get jays sometimes and flickers which are pretty cool too.

Glad you liked the Mexican Rice recipe - :-) T.

Life's a Stitch said...

Those are the birds of my garden. Also the Varied Thrush with their police whistle call, one of my favourites.

Kathy said...

Hey, Kathleen - We've got a Wetlands right in the pasture with most of those same birds! WaHoo! Great photos! The Canadian geese come and go - I think they may have set up permanent housekeeping here or near-by. A few years ago, I was amazed that one day, while I was fishing at a lake about 40 miles away, I saw a loon! There was an AZ Fish & Game guy fishing nearby so I asked him if my eyes were playing tricks on me. He said that no, some loons were hanging out in AZ for the winter instead of where they normally are that time of year. It was so nice to hear one again. I miss loons.

janet said...

Love the bird pictures I can almost hear the chirping. I have always wanted to record the birds that I have on my hill maybe now I have the proper inspiration

Sharon said...

Great bird pics! It's kind of nice working at home in the kitchen, as I can look out the sliding glass doors and watch the birds. There is a red headed woodpecker around who visits every now and then, I don't think I'd ever seen one before!

Mokihana said...

Love the eagle shot! We spend a lot of time at the wildlife refuge in Ridgefield, and I've only seen them in trees.

CHRIS said...

Wow what beauty.. Yes it's me.. I'm baaaaack!