Saturday, December 26, 2009

I did the Westminster CBC and I survived!

That's right folks another CBC to check off for the year and this time it was the Westminster CBC which is notorious for being......well..........rather dull in terms of bird species and numbers are concerned but that didn't stop Alan and I from getting out there to help our friend Paul in need out with his section of the CBC as that's what friends are for right?? We started off the CBC with a spring in our step and a positive attitude because after all, it certainly couldn't be as bad as people told us!!!!! The picture above is of some sumac I took a picture of while Alan was playing his Black-capped Chickadee tape. We sat there waiting patiently as our toes got a little numb eagerly awaiting our first bird for this stop so I decided to take a picture while waiting as there really wasn't much else to do.
Another picture of more berries at another stop where we waited for birds. These ones were purple and very nice under the gray skies. I was praying a bird would land on them for some breakfast but the only thing we got here were three Blue Jays fleeing past us almost to say "so long suckers".
A picture of a river we decided to stop at. Notice the interesting ice island in the middle of the river. Was hoping a sparrow would land on it to sample some of the weed seeds but we couldn't even get a Rock Pigeon here.
Barren roads with pretty mail boxes was another thing I decided to photograph as we waited for a wave of birds to land on nearby trees. That never happened so we decided to go to Dunkin Donuts for more caffeine. Allright, allright, I am yanking your chain some here as you will see below that yes we did indeed get some birds.
Like these two domestics we couldn't' count, but we could count the Mallard of course! And these three American Crows on the side of the road. I was so happy to have spotted them!!! Woo Hoo, another new species to add to the list.

And of course no bird count would be a bird count without the ever so lovable Black-capped Chickadee, even the Westminster CBC! ;-)
We were lucky enough to come across these gulls in the late morning near a condominium complex in Fitchburg. Good thing they were spotted as they were not there in the late afternoon which was when we were going to go back thinking they would be there and they weren't. Great birds to get and made getting out there in the cold much more worth it.

One of my favorite birds the Golden-crowned Kinglet. This little bird actually landed really close to me and I didn't have my camera ready which was a bummer as it would have been a really cool shot.
Mourning Doves eating grit from the side of the road where we parked. There were quite a few of these birds today.
Another highlight were the Wild Turkeys we saw in someones yard.
They were all under a bird feeder for a free meal and some were displaying which was nice.
A flock of over 90 Cedar Waxwings that were all siting on bare trees surveying the day.
And an equal sized flock of European Starlings right along side of them. Funny thing was you would expect to see some American Robins mixed in here as well but we only got one of those today which was odd compared to other bird counts. Another noticeable thing was the ratio of Black-capped Chickadees to the Tufted Titmouse. Usually that ratio is 3:1 which means three chickadees for each titmouse but this one was much closer which was very noticeable while observing.

I hope you realize by now, I am being sarcastic and the Westminster CBC was actually very enjoyable and a lot of fun. Despite what we heard, we did manage to get a lot of cool birds that were just a little harder to find. Will be doing it again next year and am looking forward to it. I also want to add that the folks in Westminster and Fitchburg have by far the best bird feeder set ups of any of the CBC's we have done thus far. Talk about fancy, they are like the ones you see in the Birds and Bloom magazines and take good care of their backyard birds. Very impressive.

Oh and just proof that the three of us did do some owling for at least one of the CBC's as you can see above. Check out the owl folks. What do you think, Great Horned?? Also notice the Pink Flamingo, another bird!!!
But of course, Christmas is not about birds as much as it is family and I had a fabulous Christmas with my children, my mom, sister, brother in law, and everyone else. A picture of my mom and I in Providence Wednesday night at dinner after picking up family.
And me and my two boys I still call kids even though they are 17 and 22. To me they will always be my babies.

Take care everyone!


Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Regardless of which birds you saw,the scenery shots are so beautiful.The birds are a great bonus.Glad you got to be with family at Christmas.

matthew houskeeper said...

I was in Northampton, MA last week, and went over to Pittsfield to take some photos of the upper Housatonic River. The photo you have of the river and mill looks so similar to one I took there.
It looks like you had a very nice holiday!

Hilke Breder said...

Kim, sounds like you had a great day after all. I enjoyed all your pictures of the scenery, the birds and you with your family. I didn't get any photos on my CBC; none of the birds got close enough. Happy New Year!

Rich said...

Congratulations on surviving!

Great Shots. Liked the turkeys.

Enjoy your vacation.

Anonymous said...
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Kelly said... made a great day of it! When I saw your title, I laughed out loud. I did my first dawn-to-dusk winter birding at our CBC and was glad I survived as well. Glad you had a wonderful time with your family. Matty, who is 14, just overtook me in height, be he will always be my baby too!! :-)

Robin Robinson said...

Oh, the agony of near defeat! I almost think it's better to totally tank and not get ANY birds than only some lacluster ones. At least if you come in last you can joke about it! Great turkeys, and I'm not talking about your very handsome sons! Great shot of you 'bookended' by them.

MaineBirder said...

You did your CBC in my old neck of the woods, Westminster! Hehe, congrats on the Flamingo!

Glad you had a great Christmas with your family.

Happy New Year!


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