Have you gone to your windows yet? Are you counting? You never know what will cross your skies until you look.
Enter your birds at the Great Backyard Bird Count website. Don't worry if you don't know all the birds, just record the ones you know. Something is better than nothing.
We were robin-flocked this morning, a stroke of luck on a counting day. I guesstimated 350 as the birds flew overhead and across the street into the Ashe juniper forest. Flocks that big, you count by feel. Trust your eyes to know what 10 birds look like and trust your brain to expand by 10 so you count 100 by the space they take as they fly overhead.
The exercise is good-- my brain needs all the expansion I can give it.
This is the first winter in the last four with big flocks of American Robins here. I think the draw is Ashe Juniper berries. (See the blue-purple berries in the picture?) I'm guessing the birds' usual berry-fare didn't make in last year's widespread drought.
I'll be featuring a bird from our sightings each day during the count, along with the number we saw. Stop by to see who flew in. And leave a comment about the birds you're seeing; good things are better shared.
Words and photos by Kathleen Scott,for her blog Hill Country Mysteries. Copyright 2009-2010.