All weekend I have been counting birds around Massachusetts for the Great Backyard Bird Count. The Great Backyard Bird Count is run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and is done every year for the 4 days over President’s Day weekend. It is a citizen science project that helps get people involved with nature and helps track bird populations during the winter time. The GBBC, as it is fondly called, was my springboard to becoming a birder, instead of just a bird watcher. So, besides counting birds in my own backyard, I walked down to the Stirling Street bog every day so far and counted birds.
On Saturday I saw this First Of The Year (FOTY) male Belted Kingfisher at the bog.
Later in the day Gus and I drove down to Revere Beach and…
While the cemetery seemed like it would be a perfect place to count birds I did not see or hear a single one, even though I was there for a half an hour. It was such a beautiful day and so peaceful that I did not mind. I entered a bird count of zero for this location, because the scientists need to know where the birds aren’t as well as where they are.
From West Parish Cemetery I headed for Baker’s Meadow, an AVIS property, where I found Mallards, Hooded Mergansers and Ring-necked Ducks.
I also found a pair of of Mute Swans.
Sacred Heart Park in Andover
My final stop for the day was a Sacred Heart Park in Andover where robins ruled as I counted over 50 of them in the woodland eating bittersweet berries. I walked down along the river where I counted a few Canada Geese and a couple of mallards. As I headed back to my car the shadows were growing longer and the robins had landed in the soccer field dotting the lawn with their bright red breasts.
Back Home again the Cooper’s Hawk was still hanging around the backyard keeping all my small birds away. It was here yesterday and has been here all afternoon. Earlier it was perched in a tree, but now it was down on the brush pile where all the sparrows like to hang out. None of them dared show its face, but a little red squirrel came out and scolded the hawk, then darted back into the brush. Today is the last day of the GBBC. I wonder what birds I will see today!
Sundog seen at Revere Beach on Saturday