I’ve been doing a lot of birding the last month. I didn’t start a life list until a couple months ago. It’s pretty late in life to start one, but better late than never. I’ve been paying more attention to bird behavior and details and it has really heightened my outdoor experiences.
I did the St. Augustine Christmas Bird Count. It was the first CBC I’ve done. We got up well before sunrise in hopes of seeing a Great Horned Owl and we were rewarded for our efforts. We saw our owl.
We spent the morning birding the Palencia Saltmarsh. I saw my first Surf Scoter.
We spent the afternoon on the Intracoastal Waterway and I saw more birds than I have ever seen in my life. I was overwhelmed. I didn’t know enough about identifying shorebirds, especially in winter plumage. I took lots and lots of pictures and with help identified them from the pictures and counted them. I need to find a better plan for next year.
We saw at least a dozen Ospreys and saw one carrying what we thought was a snake. I managed to get a picture. From the picture, we were able to see it was a Needlefish. It was a cool but unfortunate fish.
I came to Maryland last week to visit family and friends and go birding. I had a great time visiting people and a couple wildlife refuges. I got lucky. In spite of the Federal budget impasse, the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge was open yesterday. My brother and I stayed until sunset and watched the moon rise. With so many ducks, geese, and swans flying around, we saw great views of birds flying across the moon. I never got a good picture, but I wouldn’t mind trying again and again. It was peaceful and beautiful.