Posted in Atlantic Canada Birding BEYOND

my Winter Bird list is at 34 already and it’s only Dec. 10th

my Winter Bird list is at 34 already and it’s only Dec. 10th Posted on December 10, 2015

It’s easier than you think I promise…you have to remember there are common birds like Crows, Black Ducks, Herring Gulls, and Starlings in this list  🙂

So, apparently the winter bird season runs from December 1st – February end.  I had not really thought of keeping a list but a local birder, Richard Stern, challenged me to find 100 birds for my winter list.  I do think that is an achievable goal, although that does not mean I will succeed.

I haven’t been trying very hard and I’m already up to 34 different species as of today.  I’m unlikely to try very hard during the whole two months, but will keep track just for curiosity’s sake.

People certainly do need a reason to get out in and into nature in the dead of winter.  It’s unseasonably warm this December and the migrants were late coming in the Spring and seem to be late leaving this Fall/Winter so there are a fair number of migrants still hanging around.  In fact, the Pubnico birders just got a brand new bird added to the Nova Scotia Winter Bird List, the American Pelican.  I’m not going to see that one but I am planning a trip to CSI (Cape Sable Island) next week with a few other birders so hopefully we can all add a few good birds to our life lists and winter lists.  Most of my birding is happenstance, but we’ll see about the little Mountain Bluebird.

Typically I’m not a list person but I do eBird and it keeps all that info for me with no effort.  It does not keep a winter bird list per se so I copied the info from the NSBS website into a little spreadsheet. Please feel free to download one for yourself.  I challenge you to keep your own list for fun as well.

I started birding in February of last year so I am not that surprised now by how many different birds we have in Nova Scotia during the winter but if you have never given it much thought you will probably be taken back by it.

The Bufflehead Ducks for example, are just showing up.  They are the sweetest little diving ducks you ever did see.  Well probably rivaled only by the Harlequins.  (you might have to click on links to see photos btw WordPress and Flickr seem to be having a little pissing match)

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Bufflehead Ducks at Bissett Lake there were probably about 50 there today – Dec. 10, 2015

marian-prospect-harlequins-dec-8 238

Personally I am more interested in seeing birds that are known to be here and not too hard to spot but these ones have all eluded me so far.  They may be around in the next few weeks.  Some will be easier to find then others but they are all possibilities I feel.

  • Evening Grosbeak
  • Redknot
  • Canvasback
  • Redhead
  • Sapsucker
  • Red-headed Woodpecker
  • Red-throated Loon
  • Pelagics of any sort
  • Longspur
  • Pine Warbler
  • Razorbill
  • Dovekie

If I could just be walking through the woods this winter and a noisy flock of Evening Grosbeaks could fly by me I think it would make it a good birding winter.  Simple goals, it’s all about simple goals.

It’s tough to have a bad time outside even if it’s cold if you are bundled up I find, a thermos full of hot chocolate ain’t  a bad idea either…I’m just sayin.