Sunday, January 1, 2012

First Birds of 2012!

1. Blue Jay-kab Blue Jay 1-1-2012 Andover Yard

Though I didn’t go to bed until after 3 a.m. I am up by 7:40 a.m. as sunlight brightens the edges of my bedroom windows. “It’s January first!” I think to myself and jump out of bed wondering what my first bird of the year will be. Before I even reach a window to look out, I hear the call of a Blue Jay in the frosty morning air.

2. stealing-kab Blue Jay at window feeder 1-1-12

I grab my bins and my camera and start my count. Tough it is always fun to see what your first bird of the year will be, I’ve decided to do a Big January Count again this year after reading Larry's Post where he says he will be doing one also. Larry writes The Brownstone Birding Blog and he is the one who got me eBirding way back in January of 2008. We have had a friendly rivalry ever since. It is a fun game to play and adds lots of lists to eBird, which helps the scientists and the birds.

3. feeders-kab View out my Kitchen window of my feeders 1-1-12

A Big January is where you count all the bird species you can see in your state during the month of January. You can walk, ride or drive to see them, the only limitation is that it must be in your state only. You do not count birds you see in other states as your Big January Total. This is how we play the game but some people like to count birds from all over. Make up your own game and your own rules if you like.

4. DOWO-kab Downy Woodpecker 1-1-12


5. AMGO-kab American Goldfinch 1-1-12

6. two goldfinches-kab Two Goldfinches in winter plumage!


7. HOFI-kab House Finch 1-1-12

Last year I counted the first House Finch for all of Essex County, Massachusetts!

8. WBNU-kab White-breasted Nuthatch 1-1-12


9. MODO-Kab 1…2…three…

10. How many-kab How many Mourning Doves do you see! (click to enlarge and count)

Last year I was new to this state and we had deep snow on the ground. My total for last year was 55 species. Since the weather is better and I know my way around better, I hope to at least beat my last year’s total, even if I can’t beat Larry!

Big January Bird List 2012:

  1. Blue Jay
  2. Mourning Dove
  3. Downy woodpecker
  4. American Crow
  5. Black-capped chickadee
  6. Tufted titmouse
  7. White-breasted Nuthatch
  8. White-throated sparrow
  9. House Finch
  10. American goldfinch
  11. House Sparrow

Happy Birding! Now I’m off to do more counts!


  1. Your blue jay surpasses anything else in it;s very blueness. A wonderful start indeed.

  2. Lovely images Kathie, great start to 2012.

  3. HI Katie...Great site to see the blue of the Blue Jay...if only they didn't make so loud a call : }
    I got up to 5 Gray Squirrels on my deck terrorizing the birds at the feeder..grrrrr..I know they have to eat ,but : }
    Lovely group of photos of your back yard birds!!
    Hope you have a good count for 2012!! Maube you will beat Larry ; ]!!
    Happy 2012 to you and your family!!


  4. My first this year was the Gambel quail scurrying under the feeders.

  5. Wonderful birds to see...
    Best wishes for 2012 xx

  6. Great Stuff! Your diligence is impressive Kathie. Good birding this year!

  7. That first photo is just beautiful!
    (Here's to GOOD BIRDING in 2012!)

  8. Arija, what a way to start the New Year!


    Grammie G, I like their call. it sounds like New England and Maine to me. I missed it when I lived out west. Thanks for the encouragement!

    Gaelyn...ah...quail! I miss them!

    Andrew, why thank you! Same to you!

    Laurence and Maria, thank you very much!

    TS Annie, I sure hope so!

  9. Hi Kathie

    Another great set of photos I might have to get one of the window feeders, you really seem to get to see the birds. And I am sure Max the cat would like it.



Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.