Monday, January 17, 2011

Snowy Towhee

January 8

Ah, the weekend. No shortage of time to add birds to the year list or find that unique species for the Bird-A-Day challenge. During the shortened work week, I would leave work and zip over to a planned location for a quick find before the last of the afternoon daylight disappeared.

No hasty pick on the Saturday. At the feeders in St. Johns I could wait and wait, as the snow collected on my shoulders, for the Eastern Towhee to show up at the base of the feeder as it did on Christmas Day.

When we arrived at the property, the owner was filling the feeders with seed. He soon approached Jean and I and informed us the towhee had returned with the snow and that we could park at the bottom of the driveway.

From the car we could see the feeders and Jean spotted the male Eastern Towhee first but my view was obstructed by a birch tree. The bird left before I could adjust my position.

The snow started to fall heavily so we stepped out of our vehicle to observe the birds visiting the feeders and flitting in the trees.

Some good birds were seen. Both species of nuthatch, American Tree Sparrow, Tufted Titmouse and a Pine Siskin. When the Eastern Towhee returned, I was standing in a much better position. A great tick so early in the year.

Three species were added to the year list and I picked the Eastern Towhee for my Bird-A-Day challenge. The next day was the duck count. Maybe this time I would be able to choose a waterfowl species but a lifer Purple Sandpiper would certainly have me changing my mind once again.

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