Saturday, January 2, 2010

New decade of birding begins

The Detroit River CBC was the last in the 2009 CBC season for me (thank goodness!), but the first birding of the New Year and of a new decade. It was cold, gray, windy ... about as always for our Detroit River CBC held each January 1st. This year there was only a very light snow covering.

The low, gray sky of Detroit; this was our weather for birding yesterday, and fairly typical for January 1st. This is flagpole hill in Ford Field, one of Dearborn's larger parks. Just looking at this photograph makes me shiver. (Click on any photo to enlarge the image.)

The Rouge River courses through Ford Field park and in some weedy branches hanging over the river I photographed this smart, little juvenile Song Sparrow. This bird and a companion Song Sparrow seem to have chosen to brave out the winter here. I found four Song Sparrows for the day; the others also along two other areas of the river. I counted zero of the more typical winter sparrow here - American Tree Sparrow - even though I spent time in good winter habitat for them.

As always, plenty of our ubiquitous Fox Squirrels were around. I also saw one raccoon while owling early in the morning and two white-tailed deer in woods near the Henry Ford Estate.

By the end of the day I was chilled to the bone and this didn't improve at the tally held at the University of Michigan Environmental Interpretative Center. The heat had been turned off for the holidays! A good thing for global warming concerns, but a bad thing for a cold birder at the end of a long day of cold weather birding.

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