Birding (and more) in Calhoun County and beyond
Things have been relatively quiet around here since the CBC/Big Yard Day. Snow has gone, and along with that chances for finding Snow Bunting and Lapland Longspurs. It has at least kept some water open on Duck Lake and Beadle Lake. Still nothing significant on either of those locations.
I still have the male and female cismontanus ssp. Dark-eyed Junco hanging out. The White-crowned Sparrow continues for a late date of 12/20. I had a Great Horned Owl calling in the yard on 12/19. This was the 28th species this month for the yard. Not sure I can get to 30, but we shall see.
I did a possible last run around the county hitting up Duck Lake on the 21st. I had an odd looking goose there. I had confirmation on Whatbird of Domestic x Canada, and iNaturalist I had the ID as leucistic Canada Goose, both from one person. I still think it has too many characteristics of a hybrid. I also had a candidate for a Lesser Black-backed Gull juvenile. Just too warm, too much mirage and too far out there to get really good shots at it.
High counts of Trumpeter Swans continue on Beadle Lake, as well as some quantity of Cackling Geese. Christmas Eve night had 2 Great Horned Owls calling. I tried to get some audio, but before I could hit record I heard a scream and then nothing. I'll have to keep trying for that. 5 Cacklers flew over on Christmas Morning on the tail end of a flight of 24 Canada Geese.
I have to believe the quantity of content will be hampered with the focus on the Yard next year. I've been noodling over some different things I can do. May get in to some more "research" or analysis. Nothing likely ground-breaking, but more of education for myself. Once I read through some more Dark-eyed Junco material I may start up with some posts on some current research related to identification. This White-winged Junco candidate had me doing quite a bit of research on subspecies ID in anticipation of documenting it for the MBRC.
I have started working on some posts related to the different Excel files I use. One file uses my eBird data for my own records. A second file is Calhoun County focused, using data from eBird for the 8 county area. This series will take a couple dozen posts, based on my initial draft.
My exploits in my latest passion, Birding...not Bird-watching;-)