Sunday, February 20, 2011

COUNTING IN THE COLD.

As I am sure many of you already know, in Canada and North America, this is the weekend of the Great Backyard Bird Count. I always have very mixed feelings about the event because while I realize it is a very worthwhile project which gathers really useful information each year, inevitably, in Chicago when this weekend comes around the weather is totally frigid and the last thing you want to do is stand outside looking for birds.


However I do try to do my bit, even if I do have to dress up like the abominable snowman to do it. This week teased me, with temperatures in the 50's on Wednesday and Thursday but of course as soon as Friday came around and the count began, we plummeted back into the 20's with a brisk north easterly wind thrown in for good measure.


I lasted for an hour yesterday before my feet went numb and my fingers would no longer function well enough to focus my bins but I came home feeling very virtuous because I had done my count!
Lets just say, I don't think Cornell is exactly going to be set alight by the number or diversity of species I saw. The Goldeneyes were pretty though, bobbing around in a very churned up Lake Michigan.


Ring-billed Gull - 37
European House Sparrow - 26
Canada Goose - 21
Mallard - 16
Starling - 22
American Crow - 1
Common Goldeneye - 5
Rock Pigeon - 1
Lesser Scaup - 1
Common Merganser - 1

1 comment:

Kathiesbirds said...

Celeste, good for you! You are brave and you saw more species than I did at some locations I counted in. Friday was great for counting in MA. Temps in the 60'S. Now it is cold again and I am counting and birding from inside the house or the heated car!