Thursday, January 01, 2009


Happy New Year, my little (snow)flakes!

I'm not one for big-time listing, but the day was so gorgeous I had to go out and begin the New Year with some nice birds.

I was sitting at Armleder, trying to get up the nerve to brave the cold when Kathi called. She just happened to be coming down to Armleder from the CNC, so I waited. It's always nicer to bird with a buddy.
My first bird of 2009 was a goldfinch at our feeders, but I was anxious to see my first raptor of the year.
Two marvelous red-tailed hawks wheeling overhead at the park, just as Kathi was pulling in.

First raptor of 2009 RTHA
Not a Big Deal bird, but beautiful nonetheless.

Second raptor of 2009 was the single Northern Harrier haunting Armleder:
Second raptor of 2009 NOHA

N harrier
(Another bird I would love to handle...the hawk who thinks it's an owl)


Kathi's dogs waited in the car while we birded...but not before greeting me with exuberance.
Holly close up
Holly! No nose prints on the lens!

Grace about to knock me down
Ever see a Rottweiler smile? Grace does it all the time. I do love that dog.

Song sparrow
(Song Sparrow, ignoring us...)

A list of what we saw:
Red-tailed hawk
Northern Harrier
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Song Sparrow
Tree Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
American Crow
Mourning Dove
Red-Bellied Woodpecker
White-breasted Nuthatch
(Kathi's first bird of the year? A hooting Great Horned Owl at her house. Stinker.)

No lifers. No Big Deal birds. But a nice walk.


Lynne said...

Maybe no Big Deal Birds, but you got to go birding (I had to work the blood bank saving lives...not) AND you got to go with a birding Budddy!
Happy New Year to my cleavage-nut-busting friend!

Gallicissa said...

Happy New Year!
My first New Year and Birthday Bird was Red-vented Bulbul.

Susan Gets Native said...

Had to bring up the cleavage, didn't ya?
Wait until you see the Sponsorship Shirts I bring to West Virginny.

Show off. Is your birthday today ( 1 January) or is it already 2 January there? Because my birthday is Friday the second. Do we share a birthday? that would be cool!
Either way, Happy Birthday!

John said...

Happy New Year!

Harriers feel like they're all bone and feathers... and they have really long legs. They're pretty cool up close.

egretsnest said...

Sounds like a good start to the year to me!

Gallicissa said...

I am a Jan 1 birthday boy, Susan.
So, we are close!
Many happy returns of the day!

KatDoc said...

Happy New Year, Susan! It was good to meet up with you yesterday.

Actually, the GHO was at Crooked Run. I left my house too early for even the bewds to be awake!

My total for the day was 48 species. I drove through THREE McDonald's parking lots without bagging a House Sparrow. How desperate does that make me appear, to go LOOKING for HOSP?

I ended the day with a calling Barred Owl. I almost gave up on it, but it finally replied to my iPod, equipped with birdJam. (Hi, Jay!) My post will go up tomorrow with the complete tale.

Kallen305 said...

Great way to start the new year and very nice pictures.

KGMom said...

No big deal birds to you would be WOOO HOOO for me. I don't purposefully bird, but I love the birds I see.
The photo of the harrier is superb--such a magnificent wing span. WOW.
Happy New Year--and happy birding to you, oh handler of harriers.

NCmountainwoman said...

Amazing how much easier to get out in the cold when you have a friend with warm doggies. Nice photographs.


Mary said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SUSAN! Still in your thirties, ey?

How do you get those hawks in the sky??? They're fantastic.

Lucky you to have a bird buddy like Katdoc.

My first hawk of the year was a Coop, seen on January 1. Photos coming later next week.

Enjoy your day. Eat cake.


bruss1510 said...

Happy Birthday and Happy New Year, Susan! Can't wait to see those "sponsorship" shirts!


RuthieJ said...

Those are some nice hawk pictures. I can't wait for spring and our Harriers to start showing up again.
On Jan. 2 I saw a large white bird sitting in a tree along a fencerow. I made Rick turn around on the busy highway and drive back so I could find out if it was a Snowy Owl or not.....turned out to be just a large Red-Tailed Hawk taking advantage of the afternoon sun. Oh well, at least that was my first hawk of the new year.

Kathiesbirds said...

A nice walk with a good friend, isn't that what it's REALLY all about! Sounds like the best of times to me.