Up and out of the house around 5:20 am this New Year's morning to find owls in Dearborn for the Detroit River CBC. Unfortunately, no Eastern Screech Owl for me on 01/01/2017.
Instead my first bird of the year was American Tree Sparrow found behind Henry Ford College at around 8:15 am.
The weather was beautiful this year. Sunny, bright, dry trails with the temperature reaching 41 degrees at the end of counting. So mild was the weather that when I made a brief pass through Ford Field I saw three men sitting at a picnic table along the river talking.
In general, for Michigan CBCs I think a little bad weather, i.e. snow, is probably better for the birding. Today was very slow and I don't have much to write about here. Some of my best spots were completely empty of birds.
This Great Blue Heron was the only one I counted this year. Some years there are more and other years there are none.
My final bird of the day was this Downy Woodpecker photographed on the Rouge River channel.
I missed what may be the best bird of the day, Pileated Woodpecker, by about an hour or so. I received a text from my birding colleagues that it had flown to an area where I had already counted. Plenty of squirrels were around, but I did not see deer or coyotes this year.