Monday, January 7, 2013

Paul's First Bird

Hi Everyone,
Here is my first post. It is a bit delayed because my iPad was refusing to let me use blogger from the road. So my posts may be sporadic but I will contribute whenever I can and if I have something interesting to add. Just before Christmas, Damon laid down the gauntlet of 'the big year' and I couldn't say no.
So in preparation, I did almost nothing but dusted off my copy of the National Geographic's Field Guide and polished up my binoculars. That was about it. I eagerly searched my yard for birds on New Year's day, but seeing that we don't have a feeder, it was about 20dF and snowing, and Canada is generally in a deep freeze this time of year, I didn't see a single bird all day long. It was then quite unexpected on January 2 when I spotted two birds sitting in a tree in the wood lot that is behind our house. Quick to the glasses and I had two blue jays swaying in the cold north wind. That was my first bird of the year.

I know Damon covered the rules and some of the different challenges that we face. But there are a couple points to expand on:
1) Birdwatching in Canada: So I live in Peterborough, Ontario and have had mixed success in the past looking for birds. Yes, there aren't many birds to see mid-winter unless you know where to look for them. But once it warms up, we do get a fair number of migrants stopping over after flying across Lake Ontario and there are many good places to find water birds in our area.
2) I will be traveling some. Some places should have some good birding opportunities. This should help out my list.
3) I am not really a birder. I do my best but I still struggle trying to separate the different sparrows, which gulls are there, and generally need a couple of minutes of switching between the book and the glasses to figure out what I am looking at.

Anyway, I will do my best and see if I can't keep up with Damon.

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