Thursday, January 27, 2011

Always something new

This morning, during the snow showers, I set out to find a Brown Creeper and a Peregrine Falcon. I failed at both. However, I did see something very unusual. After walking through UEC, UWM, and Downer Woods, I was wandering through the Shorewood Nature Preserve looking vainly for some ducks. The snow was falling so thickly at this point that I could barely see the lake beyond the ice. I did spot something moving at the very tip of a branch of a thin, 15 or so foot tree. Putting my glasses on it, I realized it was a deer mouse bravely going out to the very end of the thin branches to get the seed pods. I watched it for a while feeling quite peaceful with the snow falling all around us. Suddenly, to my horror, it slipped and plunged 15 feet to the ground below.
I raced to the spot, thinking about Mouse first aid, only to see it climb up onto the fluffy snow surface, shake its head in some amazement and then shoot under a nearby log.

The only new Bigby was a Blue Jay perched at the end of my property. So one new Bigby for 6.9 miles of walking! I also think I inadvertently gave a lot of you a Blue Jay when I tried to enter the sighting on my iPad. The Google document doesn't really cooperate on an iPad so apologies to all who just gained a bird. (I don't think I gave it to Tim, which is all that matters).

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Why I need a scope

Maria and I went duck watching yesterday, but only Dolores and Gil braved the elements (it actually was lovely out). None of us had a scope. Although there were the usual huge rafts of ducks, we did not see any of the tantalizing new bigbys (i.e. Long-tailed, Red Head, etc.). I am sure they were out there, but .... We did see a pair of Eastern Bluebirds a couple of times. Very bizarre to have Eastern Bluebirds on my January list before I got a Herring Gull. Tim, despite his promises of glory, remained snuggled in his warm house. Wimps!! I am still looking for the elusive Brown Creeper!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Excited for the new year

On January 4th, as I was getting my bike oiled up for work, my wife asked me why I was biking. I said three reasons: 1) to save the world, 2) to save my health, and 3) to BGBY, but not necessarily in that order.

Off to a good start, but then the same aforementioned wife advised me not to bike to work with below-zero windchills recently. I saw a Sharpy that day. If I lose to Owen Boyle by one bird and I don't have a Sharpy, that might be a deal breaker.....

Love green birding!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lovely Riparian Habitat

At 11;00 pm, yesterday, while reading the Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean (which is a fun examination of the history of the periodic table; a sentiment I never thought I'd write), I heard the trill of a Screech Owl! I love living along the river. Now, I am still hunting down the Brown Creeper and the Herring Gull (oddly enough).

Friday, January 14, 2011

Old Eyes

Just when I, according to Owen, receive major cred by guiding the WSO to my Carolina Wren, I totally lose it by erroneously posting a Bohemian Waxwing! Aagh. Tim, who is currently pedaling furiously through the Menomonee Valley, alerted me to the error. Obviously, it was a (actually there were ten or so) Cedar Waxwing in Estabrook Park, not Bohemian. I also saw the Carolina Wren in my yard again today, and was quite surprised to see it go to my feeder and take a seed away.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Hermit Thrush

Today is my first day back home after travelling for the holidays and I was happy to see that the Hermit Thrush that was hanging around the backyard before Christmas is still here.  The feeders are full and the water in the heated bird bath is fresh.  While the locals find their way back to the yard, it's time for my first Bigby walk of the year down to the Milwaukee River Greenway.  Maybe I'll even swing by Robin's for her Carolina Wren.  And so it begins!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Carolina Wren

Felled by a cold, I stayed in yesterday. I probably got the cold from birding on Sunday in the bitter winds. I lucked out yesterday, however, when I got up from the couch to put more wood on the fire, and noticed that MY Carolina Wren was back. Easiest bigby ever. Quite exciting. Now, what can I give this cold little guy?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Green Big Day - New Year!

Hey Folks,

I birded mostly from the warm confines of my living room today. However; at 3:30 PM I decided to brave the cold - mostly because I've been reading books on Everest..and it seemed appropriate. As luck would have it the third bird I saw at Lower Mud Lake was an imm. Sharp-shinned Hawk. A bird that I somehow missed last year??

Happy GBIBGYing.....

Andy P.


The clocks have rolled over to a new year and our Green Birding lists have rolled back to ZERO.  Here's to another great year of Green Birding!!