Sunday, February 15, 2009

Great Backyard Bird Count 2009 - day 2 report

Day 2 of the Great Backyard Bird Count turned out pretty well, especially compared to day 1. I birded in 2 locations, in addition to my own yard.

The first location was Fox Lake, a lake located about 10 minutes from our house. The lake itself is around 50 acres in size, and is situated in a 421-acre wildlife area known as the Fox Lake Wildlife Area. The land and water is owned and managed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Wildlife. In addition:
Fox Lake is one of six impoundments within the Margaret’s Creek Watershed which provide regional flood control. The dam is designed to retain large quantities of water during flood periods and to release the water at a standard rate of flow through a fixed-sized outlet. Wildlife management work includes protection and improvement of existing woodlands, selective maintenance of shrubland and openland, and maintenance of openland on a small portion of the area by cropland management. Hunting and fishing are the major recreational uses, along with nature study, hiking, boating, and bird watching. (ODNR publication 214 (R994))
This is one of several local lakes that we like to visit in the warmer months for paddling, but it made for some good birding on this particular day. There is a trail that follows along one side of the lake, and it was along this trail that we made our count.

Looking out on the lake

The lakeside trail

Count for Fox Lake:
American Crow - flyover (3)
Red-bellied Woodpecker - heard only (2)
Downy Woodpecker - heard only (1)
Canada Goose (2)
Tufted Titmouse (1)
Blue Jay (5)
Barred Owl - heard only (1)
Norther Flicker - heard only (1)
Chickadee (1)
White-breasted Nuthatch - heard only (1)
Pileated Woodpecker - flyover (1)

The second count location was Sells Park on the east side of Athens. It's not a park like the Richland Ave park where I counted on Friday. Instead, this a recreation area full of lots of trails for hikers, runners, dog walkers and mountain bikers. The trail system has been developed a lot over the last 4 years or so, and it now links over to Strouds Run Park and Dow Lake. This particular part of Athens seems dichotomous to me, because over here is this wonderful natural area full of trees and trails and parks, but drive literally 2 minutes down the hill from the Sells Park parking area, and you land on East State Street, which is the main drag on this side of town, home to many restaurants, stores, banks, gas stations, car lots and the like.

Looking out on the city from Lookout Rock

The white roof is our WalMart. Don't get me started...

This is the view you get when you turn around about 180 degrees - poof, the boxes and stores are gone!

With my partner in crime - and my Valentine! I thought it was very sweet of Dave to go bird hunting with me on Valentine's Day.

The bird count at the park was less than I expected, but we still got a good tally of different species.

Count for Sells Park:
Pileated Woodpecker - heard only (1)
Amercian Crow (2)
Red-bellied Woodpecker - heard only (1)
Northern Flicker - heard only (1)
White-breasted Nuthatch (2)
Chickadee - heard only (1)
Tufted Titmouse (2)
Northern Cardinal - heard only (1)

And finally....
Count for my backyard:
Northern Cardinal (5)
Chickadee (3)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (1)
Downy Woodpecker (2)
Tufted Titmouse (2)
Pine Siskin (8)
American Goldfinch (7)
Mourning Dove (15)
Dark-eye Junco (2)
White-breasted Nuthatch (2)
Song Sparrow (2)
White-throated Sparrow (2)
Blue Jay - heard only (1)
American Crow (3)

A note about the "heard only" and "flyover" designations: When submitting counts to the official GBBC, one is not required to differentiate between birds seen in trees/on the ground as opposed to flyovers or those not seen at all but only heard. I'm making the differentiations on my personal lists just for my own record keeping.


Shellmo said...

I think you have a great birdy list for the count! And kudos to your Valentine for accompanying you on your bird hunt! Mine was in tow too w/ his binnoculars and acted as my "spotter."

Kallen305 said...

Two pileated woodpeckers! You lucky duck. I am trying to find one with no success.

I hear you on ugly developed buildings. They appear to be popping up everywhere these days!

You did excellent in your bird count!

KaHolly said...

No Pileated Woodpecker for me today, but Redpolls and a beautiful pheasant! They brighted a somewhat dreary snowy Central Maine day.

RuthieJ said...

Sounds like you had good birding Heather--even though it was an overcast day.
Dave's a good sport--hang onto him!

Heather said...

Shelley - Thanks, I think it's a good list, too. Aren't our bird-watching hubbies great?!

Kallen - I so rarely get to see the Pileateds, but I hear them often. I was glad to see one, even if he was flying off in the distance.

KaHolly - I so hoped for Redpolls this year, but I don't think it's gonna happen. A pheasant, wow that's awesome!

Ruthie - Yes, it was dreary, but good birding nonetheless. Don't you worry, I'm definitely hanging on to Dave!