Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Big Sit Backyard Style

Circumstances, forced me to stay local today but instead of bemoaning my misfortune at not being able to bird wherever I wanted to, I turned it into a "Big Sit" day, right in my backyard. It was perfect timing since this weekend was slotted for Big Sit events across the country. I had thought about doing one but it did not cross my mind to do it from my yard. As it happened, I quite enjoyed myself.

Adult Bald Eagle is not your everyday backyard sight. How many other good birds do I miss?
For those of you who are not familiar with the term "The Big Sit", it is an annual, international, noncompetitive birding event hosted by Bird Watcher's Digest and founded by the New Haven (Connecticut) Bird Club. You have to go through some registration procedures (online or snail mail), identifying the area being covered and how many participants would be in your count circle. More information on the rules can be found here.

I thought I would miss Palm Warbler but this guy showed up late looking for a drink.
For today's Big Sit, I started around 7:50 am, late by birding standards and I suppose I could have very well missed some flights but I did not do too bad, ending the day with 40 species and one taxa. My best birds were, ORANGE CROWNED WARBLER (new yard bird), PINE WARBLER, Adult BALD EAGLE, AMERICAN KESTREL and PINE SISKIN. There was also one bird that really threw me and I am still not entirely confident about the ID. I'll post an image for feedback. I am calling it a Peregrine Falcon but when I saw this bird in the distance, it did not look like a PEFA at all and I am still struggling with it. I would be interested in your comments.

This bird really was puzzling. Peregrine Falcon?
My biggest miss was White-throated Sparrow and American Goldfinch. With many of my neighbors cutting back many of the old OAKS that would host warblers in the spring and fall, it is getting harder and harder to see any decent numbers of birds but I take heart thinking that they will all come to my little patch.

Who needs to go to RMSP or Jones Beach for Siskins? I get them right at home.
Here is my complete list.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  16     7, 9
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  3
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)  1
Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)  1     Big female.
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)  1     Adult.
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  3
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)  6     1,2,1,2
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (Columba livia (Feral Pigeon))  37     3, 11,7,5,1,3,2,5
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  6
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)  1
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  1
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) (Colaptes auratus auratus/luteus)  4     1,2,1
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  1
*Peregrine Falcon* (Falco peregrinus)  1
Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus)  3
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)  10     2,3,5
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  3
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)  1
Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa)  2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)  2
Swainson's Thrush (Catharus ustulatus)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  11     1,2,3,1,4
Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)  2
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)  2
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  23     3,6,2,4,8
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  7
Orange-crowned Warbler (Oreothlypis celata)  1
Palm Warbler (Western) (Setophaga palmarum palmarum)  1
Pine Warbler (Setophaga pinus)  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) (Setophaga coronata coronata)  7     1,2,4, 1
Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus)  1
Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)  1
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  1
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)  2
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)  4
Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)  1
Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major)  1
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  3
Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus)  7     1, 6
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  8
passerine sp. (Passeriformes sp.)  4

Tags: , , , , Share with Bookmark and Share

No comments: