Sunday, January 22, 2012

At Home and at Work

I haven't had much time for birding at work this week but I have noticed that the retention ponds continue to be very busy. Every day for weeks now they have had at least 100 American Coots and often many more than that.

The ponds generally also have large numbers (i.e., 100-150) of Ring-necked Ducks also. The male Ring-necked is easy to recognize because of its bill.

The female is less striking but has distinctive eye markings.

As I mentioned the other day, the ponds are currently also attracting scores of Double-crested Cormorants and more than a few Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets and White Ibis.

The campus nature trail has been surprisingly quiet for birds so far this year. Apart from a few residents, all I generally see is the occasional Ruby-crowned Kinglet or Yellow-rumped Warbler.

At Home

At home our feeders continue to attract a never-ending stream of visitors. Half-a-dozen House Finches and as many House Sparrows now have to compete with ten or more American Goldfinches.

White-winged Dove numbers vary from a handful to 20+, depending largely on how much seed the other birds have spilled on the ground.

A typical day also sees visits by Northern Cardinals, Carolina Chickadees, Carolina Wrens, Northern Mockingbirds, Orange-crowned Warblers, Downy Woodpeckers, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, one or more Chipping Sparrows and 2-3 Yellow-rumped Warblers.

I have been pleased to see a Red-bellied Woodpecker come to a suet feeder several times: In previous years a pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers were among the most frequent visitors to our yards but we hardly saw them at all in the second half of last year. Deee saw our first Ruby-throated Hummingbird of 2012 the other day. I missed that but instead spotted our first American Robin of the year.

No comments: