Today’s walk was cold. I’ve been trying to figure out if it was the coldest day or not and I think I have developed a test to determine this. Let’s try it out now.
On 22 January 2013 was the East Branch of the Brandywine frozen? No.
On 23 January 2013 was the East Branch of the Brandywine frozen? Yes.
There you have it. Today was more colder* than yesterday. However, I must be honest in that it didn’t feel more colder because the wind wasn’t howling like it was yesterday. Again I employed my graduate school education and checked the weather before I left the house and was dressed appropriately. It will be interesting to see if the Brandywine completely freezes over as the temps are supposed to stay subfreezing for the next four days.
Despite the low temperature, the lowest that I have experienced since moving back the east coast, the birdlife today seemed a little more robust than yesterday. I started off the day with an adult Bald Eagle, which was a first for 2013. The last one that I saw was back on 11 December. They were an almost daily occurrence through to November then they began to disappear.
Speaking of disappearing acts. I was watching the group of about 500 Canada Geese in the field on the west side of the Brandywine when I looked up at the eagle. I looked it for a minute or so then looked back at the geese. Except there were not geese! They had all slipped in the Brandywine without making a sound! Penn and Teller couldn’t have done it better. In all I had 33 species for the day and I'm up to 59 for the year.
*More colder is a precise technical term used by field ornithologist to describe their level of discomfort at any given time.
Stat time: 9:30
End time: 12:30
Wind: light winds from the north
Skies: partly cloudy
Species Total: 33
- Great Blue Heron – 1
- Black Vulture – 6
- Turkey Vulture – approximately 15
- Canada Goose – approximately 500
- Mallard – 3
- Bald Eagle – 1, adult. Bird of the Day!
- Sharp-shinned Hawk – 1 immature, probably a male based on size.
- Red-tailed Hawk – 4, 3 adults and 1 immature
- Mourning Dove – approximately 20
- Red-bellied Woodpecker – 3
- Downy Woodpecker – 2
- Hairy Woodpecker – 1
- Northern Flicker – 1
- Blue Jay – approximately 10
- American Crow – approximately 100
- Carolina Chickadee – 1
- Tufted Titmouse – 2
- White-breasted Nuthatch – 2
- Carolina Wren – approximately 6
- Winter Wren – 1, heard only
- Eastern Bluebird – 3
- American Robin – 1
- Northern Mockingbird – 4
- European Starling – 3
- American Pipit – 1
- Eastern Towhee – 6, I’m finding that towhees are difficult to detect on a daily basis. This is by far my high winter count.
- Savannah Sparrow – 2
- Fox Sparrow – 8!
- Song Sparrow – approximately 50
- Swamp Sparrow – 1
- White-throated Sparrow – approximately 100
- Dark-eyed Junco – approximately 15
- Northern Cardinal – approximately 20