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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Olympic Mountains and February Bird Count

Today Jason and I went down to the south end of the island to check out the red-tailed hawks. It was another wintery day with dark gray skies and cold winds. We spent some time hunkered down out of the wind watching the North Pair as they soared over the fields looking for prey. It was amazing to watch them kiting - just hanging in place without any movement at all. We didn't see them catch anything, although Garth (RTH1) made an attempt but apparently missed the little rodent or whatever it was he was after.

The most spectacular view was to the southwest, looking across the straits at the Olympic Mountains. While the slate gray clouds hung over the San Juans, the Olympics were lit up by pale sunlight and the view across to them was crisp and clear. Make sure to click on the photo to see a larger version.

Today also brings us to the end of the Great February Bird Count hosted by Northwest Nature Nut. The winner over at Pittswood Birds tallied a remarkable 46 species in their yard over the course of the month. I don't have quite that diversity here at our marina but I did tally a respectable 19 species over the month, the most surprising of which was a pied-billed grebe which I have never seen from here before. Here's my species list for the month, in alphabetical order:
  • American crow
  • Bald eagle
  • Belted kingfisher
  • Bufflehead
  • Canada goose
  • Chestnut-backed chickadee
  • Common raven
  • Dark-eyed junco
  • Double-crested cormorant
  • Fox sparrow
  • Glaucous-winged gull
  • Great blue heron
  • Hooded merganser
  • House sparrow
  • Mew gull
  • Pied-billed grebe
  • Red-breasted nuthatch
  • Red-necked grebe
  • Song sparrow


Warren Baker said...

Hi Monika,
Thanks for visiting my blog, I may have many species on my list, but you have some pretty special species on yours. pied Billed grebe! Wow!! I'll put a link to you from my blog and visit you from time to time.

Unknown said...

19 species in one's backyard is much more than a respectable count. Awesome and congratulations.

Heather said...

Congrats on your 19 species Monika! I'm glad you played along. It was a fun little game. Happy birding!

Monika said...

Thanks Warren, I'll do the same!

T and S, Heather - thanks for the comments! Happy birding to you too!