Burr. Today was cold! There was still plenty of snow on the ground from 29 December. As you can see from the photo above, I was able to identify yet another public use for the preserve, snow sleds! It looks like people had fun sliding down the hills.
The day started off with nearly dead silence. Very little was sing, calling, or other wise making any noise. I was afraid that I was going to set the all time low for species and total numbers of birds today. However, as I worked my way around the preserve, and the sun rose a little higher in the sky, things seemed to pick up (notice I didn’t say it got warmer!). I saw a good many birds that I don’t see on a daily basis, starting with Red-breasted Nuthatch. They quickly followed by Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. I had great looks at this one. Most that I record are fly by or heard only. Then I saw the Herring Gulls as a fly over. As I walked back on the main road, I had great looks at a Red-shouldered Hawk over head. I don’t know why I don’t see this species here more often (only the 5th time for me). Then by the side of the road near the old barn, there was a Savannah Sparrow (only the 19th time). Again, with so much in the way of grassy fields, I’m surprised this one isn’t any more common.
Then to top it off, the final bird of the morning was a single American Tree Sparrow. Perhaps the best look that I have ever gotten of one of these. It was right at eye level about 5 feet away, then flow over my head and down on the side of the road, again about 5 feet away. It slowly pecked around on the ground looking for food as if I wasn’t there. Pretty neat!