It’s the Great Backyard Bird Count weekend, this weekend. Right now. You can watch the map pinging with bird checklists being submitted.
I had something cool happen. I was using the eBird lists to see if I could identify this one bird that’s around almost every day, only ever one by itself, and I glanced out and it was here! I feel like it can only be a pine warbler, although he looks much more orangey than yellow. Not a pine grosbeak, though, bc he has the delicate beak. I’ve taken lots of bad pictures, but they’re never v helpful.
Then two purple finches showed up, and two sparrows, that must be song sparrows. I see them far less often, so then I had to stay on the job for the minimum 15 minutes to make another GBBC report.
I failed to count birds in ’19, but against my 2018 notes, the change is clear. Sparrows and Juncos and Purple finches and even Nuthatches are now rare for me to see, while goldfinches and grosbeaks have tripled in numbers. I get about 150 Grosbeaks and 80 goldfinches every day, like clockwork after dawn.
Every morning they come and clutter up the treetops shrieking for a while deciding if it’s safe. Made it real easy to count them this morning, all waiting, watching me watch them. Then they descend in a squabble of bird drama, carpeting the snow and crowding the lids of the beehives, which double as bird tables. I assume the bees aren’t bothered by the tap-dancing on their roof all winter. I can’t get over how the winter goldfinches look like identical miniatures of the Grosbeaks, and they all mix up.