Happy New Year! Of course I had to start the New Year off with a little birding…
This morning I joined the team covering the Canadian side for the Detroit River Christmas Bird Count. Dan and I were tasked with counting birds in some woodlots around the area and we managed to turn up a decent number of birds despite the harsh cold winds. We didn’t find anything too rare but it was a fitting start to a more relaxed year of birding. No “Big Year” this year. I’m just going to enjoy being out and seeing what I see instead of spending a lot of time chasing. Don’t get me wrong, “Big Years” can be a lot of fun! I had an amazing time chasing down the 266 species during my 2014 Essex County Big Year but I want to do something different this year (look for my 2014 wrap-up soon).
I will still list all of the birds I see. Yes – I am a lister and proud of it! According to eBird, I recorded 37 species today without really even trying to add them. Not a bad start to a lazy year. I did have a couple surprises today too. My first bird was not the expected House Sparrow or European Starling, but rather a nice male Cardinal. The lighting was less than ideal but a decent bird to start off with! The second surprise was a Snowy Owl that I spotted on the fence at E.C. Row and Lauzon on my way home. Unfortunately it wasn’t in a good spot for photos.
Looking ahead… I hope that Sarah and Emily can join me more often on the trails this year. I’m looking to forward to enjoying a slower pace to birding with them. I think this will also help me to work on my photography skills. I need a lot more practice and that’s my biggest goal this year.