Happy New Year! I’m feeling pretty good about 2012 so far. Not only am I suffused with the pleasant warmth that comes with watching one’s favorite sports team clinch the playoffs, but I also managed to shake off a scant night’s sleep to chase some birds this morning. How about you?
My best bird of the year so far is selected from the plentiful waterfowl spotted at and around Montezuma NWR. Even the Mallards possessed that magic that blesses even banal birds on the first day of the year, but most pleasing were the veritable tons of Tundra Swans everywhere. Too bad the Snowy Owl that dad been haunting the Waterloo outlet mall parking lot didn’t stick around! Corey, of course, carried his phenomenal bird-finding fortune into the New Year with an improbable to the point of being unprecedented Grace’s Warbler in New York. Ugh, right?
What was your best bird of the weekend (and the year?) Tell us in the comments section about the rarest, loveliest, or most fascinating bird you observed. If you’ve blogged about your weekend experience, you should include a link in your comment. Also be sure to share your First Bird of 2012… in another day, nobody will want to hear about it!
Well, I have started a year list. Not an ambitious one as I won’t push it, just keeping track of what I see. And the year started quite remarkable with a fine Goshawk over my house in southern Heidelberg, #13 of my year list. Absolutely unexpected, I got it before my first of the year Wood Pigeon.
My best bird of the weekend was an Acorn Woodpecker, as seen in the Davis Mountains State Park in West Texas. http://www.flickr.com/photos/seanpaulkelley/6609929935/in/photostream
Yellow-breasted Chat at Wreck Pond.
I took a brief detour from counting birds for the Bernville, PA Christmas Bird Count on Saturday and saw a Green-tailed Towhee that has been hanging around for about a month. Picture – http://my.opera.com/kknight/albums/showpic.dml?album=59642&picture=138788222
Yesterday morning, I participated in the Fort Hunt sector of the Alexandria, VA, CBC. At 7:00 a.m., we gathered at the compiler’s home, which is on the shoreline of a lovely waterway. Not long after we arrived, someone spotted and showed me a hooded merganser in full display, along with two females, on the water just outside the window. A wonderful sighting to start the new year! WIsh I had a photo to share.
Chased the Common Redpoll in California. Aside from that, it was a modest beginning to the year list, but today is another day.
Two, count ’em, TWO Golden Eagles — just west of here. Saw a Bald Eagle at Prado Regional Park on Saturday, along with two Little Gulls, but the Golden Eagles totally made my weekend.
On the very last day of the year, I lucked out: some of the Snowy Owls that have decided to winter along Chicago’s lakefront made themselves highly available to admirers. What a beautiful bird! Enjoy:
I went on a little bird outing and found a small flock of Harris’s sparrows.
I also was envious of my son who sent me this nice shot of a magnificent hawk he saw in the Simien Mountains in northern Ethiopia–can anybody ID it?
Began the new year leading a large group to my favorite winter birding spot – Greenwich Point Park, a large peninsula jutting into Long Island Sound. Varied habitat and skillful landscaping combined with a waterfront setting are ideal for both people and birds. This year beautiful weather further enhanced the mourning – temps in the 50s, plus clear sunny skies and no wind.
We amassed a goodly number of species to kick-start everyone’s 2012 Year List. But the true highlight was a close-up view of a Great Horned Owl about 20 feet up in a tree. I can still feel his large, bright yellow eye staring back at me.
A good start for what I hope will be a good year.
OK, nevermind the ID help. The hawk turned out to be a Lammergeier vulture.
@thainamu: Lammergeier vulture (my all-time favourite bird by the way) is not its exact name. Lammergeier is German (actually it is “Lämmergeier”) and translates to Lamb Vulture. Calling the bird Lammergeier Vulture therefore translates to Lamb Vulture Vulture. So the species is either just called Lammergeier or by its alternative (and “official”?) name: Bearded Vulture.
It is a wonderful, wonderful bird! Your son is a very lucky man, and I am truly envious as I haven’t seen a Bearded Vulture in more than a decade!!
Jochen, thank you for that info. I did some image searches for this bird–that is one BIG puppy!