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
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!