I went back at lunch the same day, curious as to whether the area would be as productive at mid-day. I only tallied 13 species at lunch, compared to 24 in the morning. Of course, I had less time at lunch and couldn’t cover as much distance, so that might have been a factor. I saw the two Common Goldeneyes and the American Tree Sparrow right in the same spot where I’d seen them earlier, and the Golden-crowned Kinglets a little further along the path. I even managed to take a picture of one (these birds rarely sit still, so it is difficult to get a decent photo of one):
I did get a species at lunch that I missed in the morning: a rusty-hued Fox Sparrow foraging in the leaf litter in the woods. That was a new year bird for me.
My visit on Wednesday morning wasn’t nearly as successful. I heard the Fox Sparrow singing and saw the Eastern Phoebe; I also saw a Brown Creeper, a species I hadn’t observed at Hurdman since September. Most astonishing was the number of Bohemian Waxwings present – one flock covered three trees, and I estimated at least 400 were present. There were smaller flocks flying around the area as well, and smaller ones would join together to form larger ones. I had no idea whether these were all part of the same large flock I had seen; here is a small portion (about a third) of that flock.
I returned again at lunch, and saw only about 100 Bohemian Waxwings altogether. I also saw my first Northern Flicker of the year and an Eastern Comma.
On Friday morning I tallied 23 species, and I had to work hard to find any migrants of note. Seven Wild Turkeys greeted me just beyond the construction site, the male putting on a spectacular display.
The only water bird of note was a single Double-crested Cormorant flying upriver. I saw two Northern Flickers and my first Yellow-bellied Sapsucker of the year. Three Cedar Waxwings (also a year bird) were in the same area as the sapsucker, while about 200 Bohemians were present elsewhere. Also seen were one phoebe, one Brown Creeper, a couple of juncos, and a Hermit Thrush. I was happily surprised to see a Red Fox in the area – not one but twice – until I realized it was likely ill with mange.
I was a little disappointed I didn’t see more species (where are the Ruby-crowned Kinglets? The Tree Swallows? The White-throated Sparrows? The hawks?) and that the area wasn’t very “birdy” overall, but the peak of migration is still to come. Although the temperatures this week don’t look good for encouraging the birds to move, by the end of the month there should be a lot of new arrivals to keep things interesting!