Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Big January has Begun!

DSC_0812 AMKE-kab

American Kestrel, Lakeside Park, Tucson, AZ 12-21-12

I started off my Big January on January 1st by counting birds in my own back yard. My first bird of the year was an Anna’s Hummingbird. Soon after I added Mourning Dove, Lesser Goldfinch, and pigeon. As I was walking to my car to join Chris at Reid Park for more birding a Cooper’s Hawk flew out from beneath my front yard mesquite tree where it was hunting my front yard feeders!

Birds in my yard 1-1-2013

1. Cooper’s Hawk 4. Common Raven
2. Rock Pigeon 5. Yellow-rumped Warbler
3. Mourning Dove 6. House Finch
4. Anna’s Hummingbird 7. Lesser Goldfinch
  8. House Sparrow

I met Chris around 8:15 a.m at Reid Park. We spent a little over 2 hours there and counted 30 species of birds. Then Chris Rohrer went on his way to bird alone while I joined my family for breakfast and family time. After breakfast we took a leisurely ride through Saguaro National Park where I added 3 more species to my list for the day.

Birds Seen in Saguaro National Park 1-12013

1. Red-tailed Hawk 6. Verdin
2. Gila Woodpecker 7. Curve-billed Thrasher
3. Common Raven 8. Phainopepla
4. Cactus Wren 9. Black-throated Sparrow
5. Black-tailed Gnatcatcher  

I still have my son, Chris, here with his wife, Mellissa, so much of my life will be busy with them over the next week. However, I have strategized ways to squeeze in some birding time and this afternoon I spent about 35 minutes over at Lakeside Park. While the photo above was not taken at Lakeside this afternoon, I did see a male American Kestrel there this afternoon as well as 19 other species. This little jaunt added 6 more species to my January list for a total of 43 species so far. Tomorrow we are headed to Whitewater Draw with my kids, and then Chris Rohrer and I have big plans for Friday while my kids go off to celebrate their first anniversary!

Birds seen at Reid Park 1-1-2013

1. Mallard 16. Anna’s hummingbird
2. American widgeon 17. Gila woodpecker
3. Redhead 18. Northern Flicker
4. Canvasback 19. Vermilion Flycatcher
5. Ring-necked Duck 20. Cassin’s Kingbird
6. Common Merganser 21. Verdin
7. Pied-billed Grebe 22. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
8. Great Blue heron 23. Western Kingbird
9. Great Egret 24. Curve-billed Thrasher
10. snowy Egret 25. European Starling
11. Black-crowned Night heron 26. Yellow-rumped Warbler
12. Red-tailed Hawk 27. White-crowned sparrow
13. American Coot 28. Great-tailed Grackle
14. Rock Pigeon 29. House Finch
15. Mourning Dove 30. House Sparrow

Chris and I were totally surprised when we found the Cassin’s Kingbird down by the playground and parking lot near 22nd street. We both got photos of it and watched it for several minutes. We even hear it call. What a sound! This species has usually migrated south for the winter and it is unusual to find here at this time of year.

Birds Seen at Lakeside Park

1. Mallard 11. Say’s Phoebe
2. American Widgeon 12. Vermillion Flycatcher
3. Great Egret 13. European Starling
4. Black-crowned Night heron 14. Yellow-rumped Warbler
5. Red-tailed Hawk 15. Red-winged Blackbird
6. American Coot 16. Brewer’s Blackbird
7. Mourning Dove 17. Great-tailed Grackle
8. Anna’s Hummingbird 18. Bronzed Cowbird
9. Gila Woodpecker 19. Brown-headed Cowbird
10. American Kestrel 20. House Finch

If I ever stay home long enough to do all my house work AND offload all my photos it will be a miracle! Until then, statistics and stories will have to do! Below is a list of the birds I saw at Lakeside Park this afternoon. It was a beautiful and sunny day and I did take pictures. We’ve been having fairly cold nights around here but the temperature rose to 53F today. I was very comfortable walking around in long pants and a long-sleeved T-shirt.

My son, Chris told me today that last night after we had all gone to bed he was downstairs around 1:30 a.m. and went outside on the back patio for a few minutes to look at the stars. What he saw besides stars was a pair of Great-horned Owls hooting and calling to each other from my neighbor’s rooftops! He even saw one of the large birds fly across my backyard and land on a roof. He watched the birds for 10 minutes or more and he did not wake me up! I couldn’t believe it! I could have added Great Horned Owl to my yard list and my Big January Count! Now I won’t be able to sleep at all because I will be listening for owls al night long and every time I get up to use the restroom I will have to go outside to see if I can see or hear one!

I hope to add more photos and start a master list for my Big January count soon. Until then, stay tuned for more birding adventures with Kathie’s Birds!

Big January by the Years

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
89 107 113 55 68


The first three years were done here in Arizona, the last two years were counts done in Massachusetts. Now I am back in Arizona and it looks like I am on my way to beat the 2010 total of 113 species. I know that Chris Rohrer will be getting me to go more places than I ever would by myself and I will help him find and identify birds. I think that he will probably beat me and I will be so proud of him! He is becoming an excellent birder. He already was an excellent writer and photographer!


  1. Great start to the new year! Hope you get that owl!

  2. I can't believe your son didn't wake you up. But don't be up all night looking for that owl as you'll see more species in daylight. Have fun. I love your enthusiasm and always feel like I went along. In spirit.

  3. Kathie, what a great start! I wish you and Chris all the best on your big year!

  4. Nice idea Kathie, I wish you and Chris luck.
    It sounds like Chris is racking em' up in Phoenix too.
    I'm hoping for a visit to the San Rafael Grasslands before January 8th--I'll get back in touch with y'all about it.

  5. Oh, Kathie, you put me to shame. I need to take my list out of my head and get it onto paper. So lazy!

  6. Happy NewYear Kathie! May your year be the best birding year ever!

  7. Really awesome count, Kathie! I know you are enjoying getting out with Chris, too. I still haven't met either one of you, but hope to some time this year!

  8. You are really getting out there, and have been doing this "Big Year' deal for years now! I'm impressed. Wish I had somebody to go birding with.


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.