Birding (and more) in Calhoun County and beyond
Birding has taken a back seat the last week with some unexpected...well can't even call it Chaos. Just some really crappy part of the realities of life. My attention has been elsewhere, with little more than therapeutic trail walks with my remaining dog. Prior to that I still had thoughts of hitting 300 birds for this year in the ABA with a trip to NC, but not now with me cancelling my trip. At this point my "max" effort would be trying to nab the pesky Eastern Screech-Owl for the year and tie my high of 206. Wasn't that long ago I thought the 208 needed to get me to a 5 year average of 200 was within sight.
Since the last update I picked up a fuzzy, distant Red-necked Grebe on Duck Lake. A less fuzzy, less distant Black Scoter on Duck Lake and a couple of stops to manage for one of the Peregrine Falcons downtown during the BC CBC. I sit at 205 now, and the Owl being the last likely culprit short of a Gull should I whip up the energy to chase one at the dump or Duck Lake. We had quick freeze, and long time to wait for a thaw causing most things to move on. I did take a quick look at the Landfill pond and found 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. I'm sure there was more mixed in, but nothing I can clearly pull out of the photos I managed. I thought I had a larger gull with yellow legs when I was looking through binocs, but it doesn't show in the pics. I'm guessing all the brush I was looking through was playing with the light.
December 8th I expanded my range with a trip to Gull Lake for the Barrow's Goldeneye. Thankfully Mike Cook and Todd Alfes were able to get ahold of me to let me know it snuck into the group of Goldeneyes we had been watching before I moved from that spot. That was lifer #334 for me. Oval Beach netted me some nice looks at a White-winged Scoter flying. I've only seen them at rest before, so the White on the wings were quite prevalent. Glaucous Gull and Great Black-backed Gull were also an expected species for me. No Iceland Gull though. At the time I was figuring I had to get to between 275-280 to get 300 with help from NC birds.
Some other highlights in November and December so far are:
Doesn't seem like Calhoun will hit 220 for this year. Maybe Surf Scoter, Red-throated Loon, Iceland Gull, Glaucous Gull, Saw-whet Owl or Northern Goshawk will show up. Even Grosbeaks look to have moved farther to the East. There is always next year.
My exploits in my latest passion, Birding...not Bird-watching;-)