Thursday, January 16, 2014

Polar Vortex: Cold Weather Birding

January 2014 is off to a strong start.  So far 90 species with in the state of Connecticut and not much birding done outside the state.  I didn't set any specific goals for this first month, but I was hoping to get at least 100 birds which I had never done before.  According to ebird, my Januarys have shaped out to something like this:

2013: 63 Birds (notable: Northern Saw-Whet Owl, Lapland Longspur, Common Redpoll)
2012: 37 Birds (notable: Redhead, Common Eider, Ruddy Turnstone)
2011: Not really a birder....

So I wanted 2014 to be different.  To be something more serious.  Something that would connect me better to the birding world and the environment of Connecticut.  This doesn't mean that I feel any more the expert.  I feel under even more pressure to see more, notice more, and practice more.  And whatever I miss or can't see, makes me wish I was outside more and birding more.  Partly pride pushes me on.  But for the most part the love of being outside brings me the greatest joy.  I have to keep that front and center.  If I don't, then the joy and benefits of being outside is diminished.  I've had some great experiences out in the field and I have to keep that in mind and at the heart of my outings.

In the meantime, I am going to try to think about feathers.  With this latest polar vortex, I am amazed at the adaptations and survival skills of birds.  Feathers are a truly amazing adaptation.  I am going to try to take some great pictures that really embrace the adaptations birds make to survive the weather.  Until next time...

2014 Year Birds: 91
Notable Additions:
Lesser Black Backed Gull
Monk Parakeet
Bald Eagle
Barred Owl

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