Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Bird Count—Cincinnati, Western Hamilton County

I went on the Cincinnati Western Hamilton County Christmas Bird count today. Although it was the first time for me, the Western Hamilton County CBC is in its 46th year. I'm so glad I went. I had a lot of fun and met several new birding friends! I was also introduced to west-side cuisine at the Sunshine Cafe during our lunch break--yum, I loved it! Highlights for me were Rusty Blackbirds, a Northern Harrier, and right at the end, in the glowing light of the fading sun, an immature American Bald Eagle...yeah!

A flock of about 20 Rusty Blackbirds was in the woods along the Great Miami River off 128 near the soccer fields.

I dig those rusty heads and bright eyes! I've never seen Rusties on the Little Miami river close to where I live. I'm going to have to look a little harder. They are really cool birds...

I was on the team with Paul, Joe and Judy. Paul just emailed me that the final tally was 87 species, 1 short of the record of 88. I had to leave before the tally to watch Rick and Matty play in a hockey tourney. Next year I'm staying for the tally. It sounds fun!

Two American Black Ducks flying past, their blue wing patches flashing brightly. (If you think the quality of this photo is bad, wait until you see what's coming...)

...a most excellent shot of a Northern Harrier. You can SORT-OF see his owlish face...and just a hint of his white rump feathers.

...and an even better shot of an immature American Bald Eagle (in the golden light of evening no less)! If you squint and think happy eagle thoughts, he will come to life right before your eyes.

...finally, a quick pencil sketch I did at home of the Brown Creeper we saw and heard by the river.

Thanks Paul, Joe and Judy for taking me along with you! I had a wonderful time! Next year I'm going to learn how to digiscope for these long-distance shots...

21 comments:

holdingmoments said...

Sounds like you had a fantastic time Kelly; even if some of the birds were not as co-operative as usual. :-)
The drawing at the end is excellent.

Elaine said...

I'm impressed with the number of species you saw. I haven't heard what the bird count was here, but I know it's nowhere near what you have in Ohio.

Dan Huber said...

Sounds like a wonderful time. the rusty blackbird is something i would love to see up close. Awesome sketch as usual :)

dan

Roy said...

Yeah, they don't have any organized birding activities around here, thus no Christmas Bird Count. I miss it; I always took part in the one back in Newport. Heh, heh! We always used to show up at Sisson's Pond in Middletown at 5 am so we could listen for the owls.

Bob Bushell said...

The drawing is marvelous as good as your birds.

Laure Ferlita said...

If those had been my long distance shots of birds, it would have read, "No really, that little dot there, that's an eagle and this, see that spot of white? Look closer, it's there, that's a....."

Sounds like a fun day!!

Lois Evensen said...

What a fun outing. And, it was a lovely, sunny day.

Susan said...

HI Kelly, Your photos are a hoot! And exactly the kind I also got this past Saturday on our C.B.C. In fact I think yours are better than mine!
Cheers

KAT said...

Wow Id love to spot an eagle that would have been fantastic.

- KAT -

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

What an adventure you have had lately, I think I need to find a bird chapter here. The ducks with the blue on the wings...out of sight. Amazing to see that many species in one day.

Hope your week is blessed.

Roy said...

Hey Kelly, if you call them "Record" shots then nobody notices too much. Always a good fall back position to take.{:)
Lovely sketch.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Great bird count, Kelly... So you all saw 87 this year... Awesome!!!!!

Great set of pictures.. I thought that the Harrier looked like an owl when I first saw the picture.

Merry Christmas.
Hugs,
Betsy

DeanO said...

Fascinating Journey

Tammie Lee said...

it sounds as though you had a wonderful time and in so many ways. yea!
Lovely to see your sketch and glimpses of your day! Lovely holidays to you and yours!

Montanagirl said...

Sounds like a wonderful time! That was a lot of species.

Gillian Olson said...

Great shots and pencil sketch.

the cuby poet said...

This is such an interesting post with birds I have never heard of.I would love to see a rusty blackbird but they are not in the UK. Sounds like you had a great day.

Guy said...

Hi Kelly

It sounds like you had a great time on the count. It was interesting to see your photos they look like many of mine. I finally saw black ducks at the DC zoo this fall, so to see wild ones in flight was great.

All the best to you and your family for the holidays.

Guy

Appalachian Lady said...

I'm always out of town when the Christmas count occurs--at least that's excuse. It looks like you had a great time on yours and saw a lot of interesting birds.

kestrelart said...

I really like your sketches and admire your skill. I have been trying to do something similar but dead impressed by your drawing.

Kelly said...

...thanks, everyone. It was a great time. My ankle was killing me by the end, but who cares! It was so warm outside. I didn't even have to wear a coat in the afternoon. A far cry from year's past, when I wore snow pants and my super-fluffy parka!