2021 ended with a beautiful, warm day and a high temperature of 67.8 degrees!
The Carolina Wren bounced and sang, the Red-breasted Nuthatches came in to feed and drink. The year ended with 116 species recorded, including 29 warblers and 86 bubbler species. Considering we spent some time away, it was a very good year for documenting birds.
New Year's Day brought a dreary, wet and cold start to the year. The high temperature was 54.2 at midnight and dropped all day to 25.8. Birds took the cue and fed all day.
Northern Flickers feasted on bark butter.
Northern Cardinals and others looked for seed on the ground. This White-throated Sparrow noshed on the seeds of Cliff Goldenrod (Solidago drummondii). This plant is a noted keystone plant in the herbaceous group because it supports 97 species of butterflies and moths, as well as providing nutritious seeds to birds in winter.
Brown Creepers, White-breasted and Red-breasted Nuthatches were busy all day foraging and taking sips of water. The following day, we were quite astounded by a huge flock of Common Grackles that came in and literally took over the neighborhood. Dan said, "It's like a storm of blackbirds!" The birds surrounded us, and would swirl down and forage or drink, and then lift up and away.
We could not remember seeing a flock this large, and after 40 minutes, they lifted up and we counted 14 yards full of them as they moved to the west. How to begin to count them? We guessed there to be 2,000-3,000 birds, a true spectacle of glossy iridescence!
There were a few European Starlings and Red-winged Blackbirds in the mix, but we could not pick out any Rusty Blackbirds.
Yesterday, five Eastern Bluebirds came to the bubbler to drink or bathe. It wasn't warm, but nearly 41 degrees.
Later in the afternoon, the Mourning Doves were all fluffed up, napping. Makes one yawn just to look at them, they were so comfortable all tucked in. Conserving energy, feeding heavily and getting enough water is what it's all about right now!
Happy New Year!
Hang in there, things are looking up. May 2022 be a better year for us all!