New Year is once again upon us and so it was out in the elements after a leisurely breakfast and yard watch to see what was about. The yard kicked off things with a healthy 24 species, no surprises except that Surf Scoter and Common Loon failed to make the list, they will tomorrow I’m sure.
Our merry route took us sploshing around Clam Point before heading to the Hotspots of Daniel’s Head, The Hawk and Johnny’s yard. Our first eBird species add was the expected Snow Goose at Daniel’s Head, luckily it was nice and close so photos were obtained, it is the lower bird.
The next but one stop was Johnny and Sandra Nickerson’s yard. Sandra, while sitting in the van, got a Brown Creeper (not counted in my total) but that was eclipsed by her Nova Scotia tick Brown Thrasher (eBird, are you sure bird). Unfortunately the Fox Sparrow that had been there earlier decided to be sly, we really needed a lazy dog to draw it out for a quick view (tell me you get this).
The thrasher is listening for worm movement, American Robins do it to. Worms emit a high frequency whistle which humans can hear. If your hearing is up to it, wait for warmer ground, lie flat on the ground with your head on one side and listen, see whether you can hear the worms.
Our third eBird add was, surprisingly Double-crested Cormorant. I guess our tropical tip of Nova Scotia is hard to work into the filters and, true, we did see a good few more of Great Cormorants.
West Head Wharf had seven Iceland Gulls, none of which I photographed as there is a gulls post coming and I don’t want to spoil the surprise. Then it was on to a new-found spot where a bunch of 25 or so Yellow-rumped Warblers (for about 40 for the day) had an Orange-crowned Warbler secreted within their numbers. As if to balance the Brown Creeper disaster, Sandra didn’t see it due to the rain and the angle of the car and it just would not come out again for a photo.
So the day is done and American Robin is the most surprising omission. The total of 60 species was not bad at all and a good kick-off for this eagerly awaited year that sees off 2016. For context, my best Quebec January contained 61 species for the entire month, tomorrow we may roam further afield as there is shopping to be done!
Posts pending are: Bloody Thayer’s Gulls, that interesting new taxonomic list and the end of year review which is taking longer than expected.
I still haven’t decided what my birding focus will be in 2017, perhaps I should stick with breathing and take it from there!
Thanks to everyone who reads this blog and have a truly great 2017, happy New Year (cue a small firework that goes pfffpff).