Saturday, February 16, 2013

Great Backyard Bird Count at Two Ponds 2013

Today's GBBC bird walk at Two Ponds NWR was a great success today! Five local birders showed up to go on the walk with my dad and I.
The weather was very cooperative this year, with much less snow and much warmer temperatures that last years GBBC bird walk.  A balmy 33F temperature greeted us this at 7am this morning and by the time the walk ended two and a half hours later, the temperature was comfortably in the 40s.
The Count started with a Cooper's Hawk sitting in the trees above the entrance.  American Crows, Rock Pigeons and a few other common birds made appearances as well.  Once our group was together, we headed off into the Refuge to find and count birds.
We were more than excited to have two brand new birders with us, and help introduce them to the wonderful world of birds and the wonderful birding habitat of Two Ponds NWR.   Red-winged Blackbirds were busy setting up territories and singing.  Hordes of Canada Geese flew by throughout the walk, as did multiple Black-billed Magpies and Northern Flickers.  Walking through the wetland preserve side section of the habitat yielded another Cooper's Hawk and a few more of the birds we had already seen.  Crossing into the canal area, Mallards, a Dark-eyed Junco, Belted Kingfisher and a few Blue Jays were added to our list.  Three coyotes graced us with their presence, affording nice views of this wonderful mammal.  We followed the canal to the entrance of the prairie grass preserve section of Two Ponds.
Black-capped Chickadees called from some cotton wood trees, and a lone Herring Gull provided a quick glimpse as it traversed the sky above the refuge as it headed toward Standley Lake.  With time starting to eclipse 9am, we headed back toward the main part of the refuge to compile the list and head off.  Along the way back, a small flock of Common Mergansers flew by, a nice surprise.  A couple White-breasted Nuthatches called but did not show themselves.  We were finally able to track down a couple chickadees to view.  Shortly before reaching the parking lot, a Rough-legged Hawk  made a very brief appearance.
This was a wonderful bird walk and yielded a total of 23 species.   We had a great time introducing some new birders to Two Ponds and the birding fun.   We will be sending our list and count information in to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for their Great Backyard Bird Count records.  Hope you all are having a good time counting birds and happy birding!

Morning at the Refuge. 

Looking at some Red-winged Blackbirds.

Spotting far away birds. 

Thank you Joyce for getting this all set up!

Male Mallard swimming along the canal.

Watching the Junco.

One of many geese flocks. 

Can you find the coyote?

A spotting scope helps. 

Out in the open.

Female Mallard and a muskrat.

Prints in the snow. 

List total for the count:
Cooper's Hawk: 2
Black-billed Magpie: 43
Ring-billed Gull: 4
Red-tailed Hawk: 1
European Starling: 12
Rock Pigeon: 20
Canada Goose: 200
Cackling Goose: 15
Red-winged Blackbird: 63
Northern Flicker(red-shafted race): 11
American Crow: 22
Mallard: 12
Blue Jay: 3
House Finch: 15
Belted Kingfisher: 1
Dark-eyed Junco: 6
Black-capped Chickadee: 10
White-breasted Nuthatch: 2
Rough-legged Hawk: 1
House Sparrow: 3
Herring Gull: 1
Common Merganser: 4
American Robin: 1

Saturday, February 9, 2013

GBBC at Two Ponds NWR!

Another bird walk scheduled for Saturday the 16th at Two Ponds NWR! My dad and I are very excited to be leading another bird walk here at Two Ponds!

Join us on the Refuge for the Great Backyard Bird Count on Saturday, February 16th, 7:00 - 9:00 am.  Our guides, Nathan and Daniel McAdams will help us identify and tally bird species on the Refuge, and the data will be submitted to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  Meet in the parking lot on West 80th Ave. at 7:00 am.

Hope to see you all there!