Sunday, December 7, 2008

Birding yesterday

As you can probably tell, the birding around here in winter is fairly slow... We were under a winter storm warning and snow squall warning for yesterday, but I decided I'd rather go out in the snow than in the cold. It was -4ºC (25ºF) yesterday afternoon, and is -26ºC (-15ºF) with the wind chill right now! Our first day of real cold, it was -20ºC (-4ºF) without the wind this morning! Anyway, the real reason I went out was to look for some Hawk Owls that had been reported. I had no luck with either of them, but then again the other people that were out looking had no luck either. Since most of my time was spent looking for these, I didn't concentrate too hard on looking for other species, but I did do a cruise down the waterfront, and found (among many Mallards): 8 Gadwall, 2 American Wigeon, 2 Black Ducks (unusually low #), a Red-necked Grebe, and all 3 Mergansers, along with some Goldeneyes. Down at the Locks I also had 5 first-winter Glaucous Gulls all in one binoc view! From one vantage point on the river, I counted 6 Bald Eagles flying past when a coast guard airboat cruised past, scaring up all the waterfowl and every other bird on the river. Not much else around...a few redpolls and siskins, along with the usual common birds - only 25 species for the afternoon.

On the snow front, we are up to somewhere between 160 and 175 cm (63-69 inches) of snow for the season! Searchmont is due to open next weekend, and the instructors are already skiing!

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