Bird-A-Day Challenge, Day 57: Three More Days Until March—And (Hopefully) the First Spring Migrants
It’s been two whole weeks since I last posted on The Perch about the Bird-A-Day Challenge, which began on the first of January—and has been getting tougher by the day. But I’m still hanging on. (Even if only by a thread.) Everyday lately I wonder if it will be the last day to officially participate in The Challenge. Then miraculously something new appears and I have another species to add to the list (below).
In fact, now that people are beginning to see the first brief glimmers of a spring thaw here in the Hudson Valley, I’ve begun to discover occasional bursts of bird activity. Like one day this week when all along my railway commute to NYC there were birds flitting everywhere in the warm morning sun—20 some species in total. I marveled at how often I’ve no doubt sped along right past them all, consumed by the daily newspaper or snoozing in a train seat. That’s the beauty of this project: My eyes have opened wider to nature’s subtleties and rhythms.
In the beginning of this challenge, serious birders like Kenn Kaufman and Scott Weidensaul told me that if I can make it to March, things might start getting easier; the migrants would rush into the Northeast and I’d have a whole new crop of birds to scout out.
In three more days it will in fact be March. Then I can only hope that the first snowbirds will start passing through the Northeast. C’mon Spring!
Thanks again for all of the wonderful messages you have been sharing. I hope you will keep posting your birds and comments here on The Perch as well as on Audubon Magazine’s Facebook page and Twitter.
My B-A-D list so far:
Day 1, January 1 2011: Common Redpoll on a feeder in Rochester, NY
Day 2: Red-tailed Hawk at the roadside while driving home from Rochester
Day 3: Downy Woodpecker on my feeder
Day 4: Pigeon, a flock flying outside my NYC office window
5: Greater Scaup, Rye Playland, NY
6: Snow Goose, from the train station parking lot in Ossining, NY
7: Carolina Wren at my feeder
8: Red-bellied Woodpecker on my feeder
9: Canvasback, Croton Point, NY
10: Junco at my feeder
11: Great Black-backed Gull, from a Metro North train running along the Hudson River
12: American Crow, Ossining train station
13: Bald Eagle, Ossining train station
14: Tundra Swan, Croton Point, NY
15: Purple Sandpiper, Rye Playland, NY
16: Red-throated Loon, Greenwich Point, CT
17: Common Merganzer, Croton Point, NY
18: White-throated Sparrow, Croton Point, NY
19: Common Goldeneye, from a commuter train traveling along the Hudson River
20: Double-crested Cormorant, Croton Point, NY
Day 21: Red-breasted Merganzer, Croton Point, NY
Day 22: Long-tailed Duck, Greenwich Point, CT
Day 23:Great Cormorant winging down the Hudson River, Georges Island, NY
Day 24: Tufted Titmouse on the feeder, with Arctic winds blowing
Day 25: American Robin in a snow-covered NYC park
Day 26: Peregrine Falcon in a snowstorm along the Hudson River, seen from a Metro North train
Day 27: Hairy Woodpecker on the feeder
Day 28: American Black Duck from the train station parking lot in Ossining, NY
Day 29: Ring-neck Duck floating on an inlet of NY's mighty but ice-shrouded Hudson River.
Day 30: Turkey Vulture over a NY highway
Day 31: Winter Wren at the feeder
Day 32: Herring Gull along the Hudson River
Day 33: American Goldfinch at the feeder
Day 34: Northern Shoveler on the Hudson
Day 35: Red-winged Blackbird at dusk along the Hudson
Day 36: Blue Jay on the feeder
Day 37: Horned Grebe along Connecticut’s coast
Day 38: Common Raven near a NY landfill
Day 39: Boat-tailed Grackle along the Florida Turnpike
Day 40: Roseate Spoonbill near Key Largo
Day 41: Great White Heron (the all-white form of a Great Blue Heron) bayside, Key Largo
Day 42: White-winged Dove, Homestead, FL
Day 43: Northern Cardinal, suburban Westchester, NY
Day 44: Brandt, Greenwich Point, CT
Day 45: Cooper’s Hawk, Croton Point, NY
Day 46: Ring-billed Gull, Hudson River
Day 47: White-breasted Nuthatch, at the feeder
Day 48: Fish Crow, heard calling in the yard
Day 49: Mute Swan, Hudson River
Day 50: Common Loon, Georges Island on the Hudson River
Day 51: Junco, at the feeder (on the day of yet another snowstorm here in New York’s Hudson Valley)
Day 52: Pine Siskin (suburban Westchester, NY)
Day 53: Bonapart’s Gull (commuting to NYC)
Day 54: American Coot (same as above)
Day 55: House Sparrow (suburban Westchester, NY)
Day 56: Mallard (Hudson River)
Day 57: ?
Day 58: ?
Day 59: ?