Saturday, February 16, 2008

Great Backyard Bird Count

If you haven't yet, be sure to get out there this weekend and participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count. You don't have to stick to your own backyard...just get out there, count birds for at least 15 minutes per location and then submit your findings. Easy.

My two locations for today were Lake Isabella and Armleder Park.
Lake Isabella had the usual species, but Armelder Park, site of this year's Raptor-Palooza, was lousy with short-eared owls.

SEOW far away
Most of my pictures, taken with my little point-n-shoot, were like this.

2 SEOW and 1 harrier
For once, the SEOW outnumbered the harriers (here you can see two SEOW with a single harrier in the middle, trying to harass them).

SEOW are good at camoflage
Let's play Spot The SEOW! See that stick-looking thing in the middle of the photo? That's a SEOW. They blend in well, don't they?

SEOW take off
Here's one on take-off. See that dark wrist spot? Good field mark for a SEOW. That, and the flat face. They look so huge as they fly around, but they are only about 13-17 inches long and weigh a little less than a pound.

SEOW fly over
One was good enough to fly right over my head. If I had my regular camera (Come on, repair center! This is your last chance!) this would have been a stellar photo.

As I walked back to my car, after being there for about an hour and a half, I finally got a decent shot of one as it rested in a tree:
Best SEOW of the day
Ahhh......that's better.

I'm off to submit my counts. Be sure to get out there and count some birds!

Oh! Forgot to mention that I got a lifer......American Pipits! Whoot!


mon@rch said...

love seeing the short-eared owls! and congrats on the pipits!

Mary said...

Damn, Susan?! Why don't I ever see OWLS!?!?!

Your point and shoot did good. I did a count this afternoon in the backyard and I'll do two more tomorrow, one at a wetland, I hope. Wanna be lucky.

Congrats on that lifer! Keep on going!

nina said...

Glad you got out and about on such a pretty day.

My counting was a little disappointing this a.m.--of course they'd all gorged themselves 2 days ago!

Maybe tomorrow's clouds will bring them in!

Good luck!!!!!

Kathiesbirds said...

Susan, just read your comment on Twelve Acres about house sparrows attacking bluebirds. Soon after I was watching birds in my own back yard when a Lincoln's sparrow showed up. It was a new bird for my yard and I was enthralled when a house sparrow suddenly landed nearby and attacked it! It drove the poor bird away, but not before I got some nice shots of it. Lesson learned! Congrats on the pipit! I counted 6 in Sahuarita yesterday. Love the owl picture. I've only seen them twice before.

Tom said...

Just found your blog through the natureblog network. Great stuff you have here.

Tom @ Ohio Nature

KatDoc said...

Amer. Pipits would be a Lifer for me, too. Till this cold is completely gone, tho, I am sticking indoors and birding from the window.



NatureWoman said...

Congrats on your lifer!!!

Patrick Belardo said...

Love the Shorties! Congrats on the lifer.

donaldthebirder said...

Glad the SEOWs are still there. I hope they stay a little while longer. I need to find some time from my 6-7 days a week work schedule. Only been to Armleder twice, but no time to really bird.

Grace, Every Day said...

Congrats on your success. I didn't see any birds on the great weekend bird-watching thing, but i really didn't have much time. Oh, well. Maybe next year.