Counts happen all over the Americas during a period from mid-December to early January. I participated in the Hocking Hills count, where I met up with friends Jim McCormac and Nina Harfmann, and two new birding acquaintances, Peter and Gabe. We had so much fun during the 6-1/2 hours or so that we scoured the hollers of the Hocking Hills.
Nina, Peter, Gabe and Jim. Trust me, there really are 4 people in this picture.
The day just flew by, too. Overall, we tallied 54 species seen and heard for the day. Unfortunately, I missed the 2 Bald Eagles that flew over the parking lot where we all met (I was the last to arrive), but I made up for that today when I saw one fly across the highway.
We were there mainly for the birds, but it's not too hard for me to get distracted by other things, especially when the scenery is so lovely.
I could have taken pictures of frozen puddles forever, but there were birds to be counted!
The sun shines down upon us on this quiet country road. Some spots were very birdy, others were remarkably quiet.
Dilapidated old barns abound, begging to be appreciated for their beauty. Maybe Barn Swallows live here in the summer.
No birding trip with Jim would be complete without a little bit of botany on the side. Myself, Nina and Peter were all in for a special treat when Jim shared with us the endangered Appalachian Filmy Fern, one of only two known colonies of said fern in the state of Ohio. Given its fragile status, we were all sworn to secrecy as to its location. My photos don't do justice to the delicate nature of this fern, which Jim says is merely 1 cell thick. I would be interested in trying to get photos that capture their translucent quality, but I don't want to disturb the site more than necessary.
"Baby" fronds of Appalachian Filmy Fern
It puts me a little in the mind of parsley, this special fern. For more information about the Appalachian Filmy Fern, check out Jim's blog.
Happy Birdy (and ferny) New Year to you!