Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Gulls and other on Great Backyard Bird Count
Gulls and robins and others -- oh my! The last four days (Feb. 15-18, 2013) have been a part of the "Great Backyard Bird Count". I guess they were in my backyard in the sense that they were in my town on the East coast. And the "list" the birdcount.org provided me didn't have
a "Kittiwake" gull (see photo above) on it. The kittiwake is supposed to just be a coastal bird,
from off the Virginia coast all the way up to Canada, but with all the snow and storms we have had in the past few weeks, isn't it possible that they would be around?
I spied them in town near the college and the Kroeger grocery parking lot, and by Kroeger they were much nearer and their wings looked "really" long! That leads me to believe they are not the more common herring gull, which I guess we do see sometimes in the grocery parking lot too. I remember several years ago, when my oldest son went to college here, that I saw a number of seagulls in the Kroeger parking lot. We must be inland about 500 miles, yet the birds seem to like to make an appearance here, as though the parking lot represented some kind of modern, paved gray beach. Maybe they do find junk to eat in supermarket parking lots. But traveling 500 miles inland seems like an awfully long way to go to get your dinner!
We also viewed 3 robins (the harbingers of spring!) on the side of a ball field at the local park. It was brutally cold with a searing wind going and it is no wonder they were low to the ground, trying to get out of that wind. Perhaps they were on their way up to new England, though I can't see why. It is even "colder" up there!
A few crows, vultures and starlings also made an appearance during that time. And my husband spied a pair of attractive mourning doves on the next door neighbor's property. I personally think the birds could have waited another month (by then it will officially be spring), as now is really miserable with cold, whipping winds that make it seem like 19o F sometimes!!
I am glad to see some more birds around, but that's not so good around our house -- our 8 year old cat probably "loves" the idea of the birds deciding to come back!
If you want to see how many were counted go to birdcount.org.