Sunday, January 3, 2010

Uxbridge CBC-January 2nd

I did the last of the CBC's yesterday, this time with Fran and Alan and this time the Uxbridge count. We started off early on slippery roads as the snow started falling before dawn which meant many layers and cold feet which is something I have gotten used to lately with all of the CBCs. We saw many of the regulars like the White-breasted Nuthatches shown above. The great thing about doing multiple CBC's is that it gives you the opportunity to observe trends between them all and one interesting thing with the nuthatches this time around is that they were not always necessarily in pairs of two like they were in most of the other counts. Funny how you could have 13 Black-capped Chickadees, 3 Tufted Titmice, 1 Downy Wookpecker, but always 2 White-breasted Nuthatches whenever you called out the birds with the chickadee tape.
We also got some birds we were hoping for like the Carolina Wren which was a site to behold and motivated you some to continue which was tough at times with the weather and what it was doing to your optics and wil. Loved getting the Carolina Wrens in the CBCs as it gave me the opportunity to hear many of their various calls (and boy are there a lot of them), that I am just learning.
And of course hundreds of Black-capped Chickadees like the one above. The chickadee is always the leader of the pack and wherever they go, the others follow and its always so cheerful that one can't help but smile when you see one land on a branch with the others not far behind.
A big highlight of our day was seeing this Brown Creeper above which was very well camouflaged by the tree trunk. I could hear the call of some Golden-crowned Kinglets high up in the tree branches which were covered by snow, but I could also hear something that sounded like one, mid tree, and low and behold crept the creeper! We also had two Red-breasted Nuthatches here which was the highlight of the count. Their call is one of my favorites and I honestly didn't think I would hear it until spring. Awesome!
Another highlight was seeing a large flock of about 75 Red-winged Blackbirds that I spotted while using my binoculars to attempt to follow a Cooper's Hawk who flew below the tree line. I could see various blackbirds in a pine tree and couldn't tell what they were exactly but they looked too black to be European Starlings so Alan got his scope out and was able to confirm Red-winged Blackbirds. How cool is that!
And speaking of low visibility, an example above of the conditions. The picture is of a Red-tailed hawk perched in a tree.
We would see 4 of these hawks in total yesterday and based upon all of the numbers I have seen in all of the counts its obvious these numbers are not declining any and many are year round residents and not migrating. Of course these could be visitors from further up north, but I can't see the nesting Red-tailed Hawks tolerating that for long which leads me to believe they are year round but could be wrong. Kind of disappointed in the accipiter numbers and will be comparing their numbers to past CBC's once the numbers are loaded into the CBC site. Should be interesting to analyze.
We also had other large flocks like this large flock of Cedar Waxwings as well as large flocks of American Robins.
And I end the CBC series with some shots of winter, frozen in time like this Northern Cardinal who popped with color against the white landscape.
Bittersweet that will help many birds survive the winter.
Snow clinging to flowers from seasons past providing a different kind of foliage.
And rose hips covered in snow.

All in all, I really enjoyed all of the CBC's I did. I learned a lot about our winter birds and got to bird with some really cool people. It can't get much better than that and look forward to next year. Take care all!


Ruth's Photo Blog said...

The weather could have been a downer,but your persistence paid off.Great birds.The last set of pictures show the reality of winter and the beauty.Thanks.

A Scattering said...

Wow, great count and great shots. I especially like the cardinal of course, he's so handsome against the braches and snow.

NCmountainwoman said...

Lovely photographs. What a treat to see all those Waxwings. Great start to the year.

MaineBirder said...

Some weather out there, but still great photos of your outing! From New Years Day to Monday morning we ended up with 20" of snow.

Love those Cedar Waxwings! One of our crab apple trees are bare and the other is getting there because of them. Try to get photos, but they are jumpy.

Chris Petrak said...

You are one of the champions of the CBC, along with all the others who go out in the NE winter to do the counts. Congrats!

Rich said...

Great Birds Kim.

Great way to start the New Year!

Larry said...

I like your big colorful winter photos.I've seen a lot more Tufted Titmice than chickadeees in my area.

Ars Natura said...

Qué frío he pasado viendo estas fotos!

Enhorabuena por tu blog.


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