Happy New Year
Today I ushered the old year out by participating in the Portland Christmas Bird Count, an annual count of the birds seen in the winter in the United States. The count runs from December 15th to January 5th and different communities throughout the US pull together teams of volunteers to count every individual of every species in a count circle. This year Portland's species count was 126 with some fine rarities for the area including a snow bunting at the airport.
My group found some very nice birds including this common loon and several bald eagles, one even carrying nesting material to its nest. And the coots! It seemed like every inlet and bay was carpeted with at least 100+ coots. The challenge is to scan the crowd as they disappear around the bend and not to miss a single one.
One of the area master birders buzzed through the neighborhood and produced a great report with some very nice photos before heading off to work at 11:30am.
It was a wonderful (albeit cold, but blessedly dry) way to finish up 2011. One of my resolutions is to get out birding more. Here's to hoping you all have your favored equivalent of a very birdy year in 2012.