Tuesday, January 2, 2007

2007's First Bird

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

As I was loading music equipment in the rain on New Year's Day it occurred to me that I had not yet seen my first bird of 2007! In years past I'd make special trips to birdy places on January 1 to start the year off with interesting birds. When I lived in Baltimore the destination was often Sandy Hook State Park near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. This spot was good for waterfowl, birds rarely seen from my apartment in my urban neighborhood in Charm City.

When I lived in New York City, it was either Central Park or Jamaica Bay NWR on New year's Day. At the start of 2007, however, there was a great possibility that my first bird of the new year would be European starling, rock pigeon, or house sparrow. This was one instance where the rain helped me.

Julie left the hotel before I did, with the kids and her own load of gear. She called on the cell to say that her first bird was a rock pigeon on a billboard along the highway. Then she told me about a pair of buffleheads on a small backyard pond along that same stretch of road. I knew what I had to do.

Keeping my eyes open just enough to see the road, I drove out of Parkersburg and onto the highway. I knew where the pond was, having seen other waterfowl there in the past. As I drove up to the section of highway I forced myself not to look at anything but the road just in front of the van's hood ornament. I got to the pond and laid my eyes on a gorgeous pair of buffleheads, and then a pair of mallards. So my first bird of 2007 was the bufflehead--a fitting start to a year in which I hope to be less of a bufflehead myself.

BOTB's first ten species of 2007:
  1. Bufflehead
  2. Mallard
  3. American Crow
  4. Carolina Chickadee
  5. Sharp-shinned Hawk
  6. Rock Pigeon
  7. Mourning Dove
  8. Pileated Woodpecker
  9. European Starling
  10. American Kestrel
What was YOUR first bird of 2007?

Happy New (Birding) Year!


On January 2, 2007 at 1:31 PM Rondeau Ric said...

Junco followed by a Mourning Dove.
Followed by various gulls, house sparrows, a flock of blue jays, downey, hairy and red bellied, a BIG red tail
topped off with an immature bald eagle.
And I din't have to keep my eyes closed.


On January 2, 2007 at 1:38 PM Anonymous said...

Male and female cardinals, followed by mourning doves, juncos, hairy woodpecker, blue jays, house sparrows. Today I saw many turkey vultures, and one beautiful red tail above the parking lot of the restaurant that my husband and I ate lunch in -- I finally got to show him the one compared to the others. Hopefully he'll soon stop calling every t.vulture a hawk.

Happy New Year,
Wayne, PA

On January 2, 2007 at 2:59 PM Trixie said...

Magpie, followed by a raven. Then redpolls on the dogwalk.

On January 2, 2007 at 4:32 PM Larry Mays said...

First bird of the new year; Harris's Sparrow. That was 93 species ago.

Happy New Year!

On January 2, 2007 at 7:10 PM Susan Gets Native said...

First yard bird: Carolina chickadee
First non-yard bird: American crow
First raptor: Red-tailed hawk
Second raptor: American kestrel
(One of the commentors is a show-off!)
Looks like you rocked WVA!

On January 2, 2007 at 7:45 PM katdoc said...

1) Song Sparrow (yard bird)
2) European Starling
3) Carolina Chickadee
4) Blue Jay
5) Carolina Wren
6) Red-headed Woodpecker
7) Dark-eyed Junco
8) Bonaparte's Gull
9) Eastern Bluebird
10)American Crow

In total, I picked up 46 species on my "Medium-sized Day" on Monday, including getting all 7 woodpecker species. This is only the second time I have ever done that, and the first time on New Year's Day. (Is it cheating if you know where the Red-headeds are and go there first?)

I'm only up to 48 species on the year, but it's only Jan. 2, for goodness sake!


On January 3, 2007 at 12:11 PM Liza Lee Miller said...

Anna's Hummingbird! They arrive at my feeder while I am making my morning mocha and while my eyes are only half-way open, it's hard to miss a buzzy Anna's.

On January 3, 2007 at 8:36 PM Mon@rch said...

Happy New Year Bill and my first for 2007 was a Red-breasted Nuthatch!! Next was a Black-capped Chickadee!

On January 5, 2007 at 6:51 PM Anonymous said...

Hairy woodpecker having peanuts for breakfast at break of dawn, followed by juncos.
Caroline in the Black Hills of SD