Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Wawa-ing

Had today's expedition gone as we hoped, the heading for this entry would have been Somewhere in Salem County, because that's where Mike, Bob Auster and I were this morning, searching for Barn Owls in a desolate area of that county where we had been told they could be found. They could be found, but not by us, so instead we have the neologism coined by Mike for a title, since that is more or less what we wound up doing as we wended our way across the widest part of New Jersey from the Delaware Bayshore to Brig.

Since we didn't exactly know where we were in Salem, we decided to orient ourselves by finding the closest Wawa, which turned out to be one of two in Pennsville.
Pennsville
Unfortunately, this is a Wawa Market, which means no rest rooms. Worse, the coffee was lukewarm. But, it was on a major road which made finding our bearings easier (cell phone service is spotty in the Salem County marshes). We then started heading east and it wasn't too long before we came upon a Super Wawa, also in Pennsville. Naturally we stopped to use the facilities and for me to refill for a hotter cup of coffee.
Pennsville #8332
I mentioned to the guys that I had started the day with 96 Wawa's on my life list, so this one was #98. Mike took that as a challenge and figured that we had to hit at least two more Wawas on the way to the east side of the state. The question was, which one would be #100?

#99 turned out to be in the toddling town of Upper Pittsgrove (not to be confused with nearby Pilesgrove, which sounds like an orchard of hemorrhoids), where we stopped for photos, snacks, and facilities again.
Upper Pittsgrove
Driving east along Route 40 (which is not as easy as it sounds since the road tends to veer off in unexpected directions) we left Salem County and crossed into Gloucester where, in Malaga, a rather old Wawa (you can tell by the slab serifs on the logo) became the 100th Wawa that I have visited (or, at least that I have recorded visiting). It was a cause for celebration, with handshakes all around, the planting of the flag, a 20 gun salute, fireworks, and congratulatory telegrams from various heads of state. It is quite an accomplishment and I couldn't have done it without the support of my friends and family who never wavered in their faith in me.
Malaga. #100 (Bob & Mike)
Malaga (Bob & Larry
photo by Mike
Counting our first stop in Clarksburg this morning, that made 5 Wawa stops for the day, which is a personal high. As we continued, there were at least 4 more Wawa's that I had never visited we could have stopped at but by that point, basking in the glow of Malaga, I considered the rest of the journey to Brig as a scouting trip, sort of what one does before the World Series of Birding.

(All the Wawas, plus bonus material, can be seen here)

Oh yeah, I heard two Eastern Towhees today at our first stop in Salem County. Year bird.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Brig 3/16--Gyrfalcon Again

Talk about your intersecting vectors! I went back down to Brig today with Shari to try for the Gyrfalcon again. We hadn't been there 2 minutes when we were about to make the turn onto the Wildlife Drive. We saw a few Turkey Vultures wavering over the marsh, then, among them, a big, fast flying raptor. Shari thought it was an eagle but I could tell by size, shape, color, and speed that it was the Gyrfalcon. So she got her life bird with out any angst, sturm, or drang.

I put an alert out but no one saw, definitively, the bird for a few hours, until it appeared farther up the road, where it had been seen yesterday. So yesterday I had a brief look at it on the ground and today I saw it flying (for comparison, we also had a Peregrine Falcon later--much different-looking bird), but I still don't have the field guide illustration look at it.

This was Shari's 1500th life bird, putting her, again, 102 ahead of me. Unlike Shari, I've never been Iceland, I didn't want to stay in South Africa for a month (with a side trip to Lesotho) and, of course, I am a committed landlubber which rules out pelagics. Hence her big lead, which I'll never overtake.

But, really, birding isn't a competition.
Unless I'm winning.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Brig 3/15--GYRFALCON

Sometimes I think that birding is just a matter of your vector intersecting the bird's vector and skill is involved only when you don't at first recognize the bird whose life line you're colliding with. Which is another way of saying "Right place, right time=success" but 90% of success, as a discredited comedian once observed, is showing up. Which is why, when I got an alert that a GYRFALCON was again being seen at Brig, I showed up there, abandoning my noodling around in the Barnegat area. It's hard for me to get a life bird in New Jersey these days.

The bird was first reported on the Osprey platform on the east dike, which I found amusing, because in a month or so, that will be my least favorite spot in Brig as the photographers line up waiting for the light to be just so in order to take the 17 billionth picture of the raptor on its nest. But today, unfortunately, when I arrived there with Chris, another birder from Ocean County who also sped down when he saw the alert, there was no Gyrfalcon to be seen.

About a month ago this same bird, probably, was being seen off Nummy's Island, about 30 miles south of Brig. I remember getting the alert when I was at Assunpink, doing a quick calculation that it was over 100 miles from me to the bird and dismissing the idea. Then on Sunday or Monday of this week, there was a late report that the bird had been photographed at Brig, but nothing since, so it obviously ranges around into areas not accessible to birders and only once in a while does its vector intersect with observability.

Chris and I continued around the dikes, stopping a couple of times to look in what we thought would be likely spots, but the bird wasn't around. I got back to the parking lot, trying to decide whether it was worth going around again when I saw Mike pull in. He too had seen the alert and hurried down. We joined forces and it was out onto the dikes again. Chris texted me that bird had been seen flying with prey, in the same area as before. Then he texted me that the bird had flown right over his head. Well, at least he got to see it. Mike drove as fast as the speed limit allowed and when we turned onto the east dike we saw a birder with a scope out, motioning us on. Having a scope out was an accomplishment today because the winds were brutal, probably at least 30 mph and more likely 40 mph. At least the air temperature wasn't cold or I wouldn't have stayed there, life bird or not.

How windy was it? When Chris and I first got there, we drove toward the east dike perhaps a bit over the speed limit with Chris in front. It was so windy that I lost sight of his vehicle in the dust blowing up behind it. How windy was it? Sitting in Mike's car as it was buffeted by the wind, I was getting motion sickness. How windy was it? I still have a headache from the wind pounding my head.

The bird, being more intelligent that we are, was sitting on the ground out of the wind, pretty far out in the impoundment. I took a look through the guy's scope and saw a big, gray, barrel-chested falcon with no "hooded" appearance, and satisfied myself, in the 5 seconds I had, that it was my lifer. Mike, ever environmentally conscious, unfortunately, was picking up checklists that had blown out of the car, so a woman cut in front of him, got the bird and by the time Mike looked, it had flown (or been blown) away. We set up our scopes to scan, but the shake from the wind was too much.

We never did relocate the bird, though it did come back to the same platform when we were 4 miles away from it. That's what I mean about intersecting vectors: some birder's were, some birder's weren't. I feel a little fortunate to have seen the bird at all yet, I hate looking through someone else's scope because you're always rushed. That's why I say it isn't satisfying until I see it in my scope.

Who knows, maybe the bird will more reliable this weekend and Shari and I can go down and get it tomorrow--it would be a lifer for her too. No photos today. The bird was too far away. Besides, I forgot my camera. And even had I remembered my camera, the battery was still in the recharging unit.

My list:
42 species
Snow Goose  3000
Brant  200
Canada Goose  100
Mute Swan  4
Northern Shoveler  70
Gadwall  25
American Wigeon  5
Mallard  7
American Black Duck  25
Northern Pintail  15
Green-winged Teal  55
Canvasback  15
Ring-necked Duck  12
Bufflehead  10
Hooded Merganser  5
Red-breasted Merganser  2
Ruddy Duck  11
Dunlin  50
Greater Yellowlegs  20
Ring-billed Gull  13
Herring Gull  100
Great Black-backed Gull  3
Double-crested Cormorant  3
Great Blue Heron  2
Great Egret  6
Turkey Vulture  3
Northern Harrier  2
GYRFALCON  1    
Peregrine Falcon  2
Eastern Phoebe  1    Heard upland
American Crow  4
Fish Crow  5
Tree Swallow  1
Carolina Chickadee  1    Heard parking lot
Tufted Titmouse  1    Heard upland
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1    Heard parking lot
Eastern Bluebird  2
American Robin  1
Savannah Sparrow  1
Song Sparrow  2
Red-winged Blackbird  15
Northern Cardinal  1    Heard

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Barnegat Light SP 3/3--A Nemesis No More

Iceland Gull, center
It had become a standing joke among my birding buddies: I didn't have Iceland Gull on my Ocean County list. I've seen Glaucous Gull, which is considered more of a rarity, a number of times in the county--twice this year in fact. I go to Barnegat Light, Manasquan Inlet, and Island Beach a lot. Yet, never did I stumble upon this white-winged gull. Scott, in particular, found it hard to believe since he thinks Glaucous Gull is a much harder bird to find. I've come close: I once saw an Iceland Gull fly over my head on the north side of Manasquan Inlet, which, unfortunately is the southern extreme of Monmouth County.

The last time I saw Scott, I said to him, "Someday, we'll be at Barnegat Light on one of your trips and you'll point one out to me." I said this with confidence, despite having gone on probably 10 trips to the Light with Scott & Linda. Today, Mike and I went over to LBI for the trip. We'd just been there on Wednesday--naturally no Iceland Gull.

Scott and Linda pulled in to the lot and then I saw that Scott had brought a heavy hitter when Jason climbed out of the back seat. I had been on Jason's trip to the Edison Boat Launch and Sayreville Marsh last month and, naturally, got my year Iceland Gull up there--In Middlesex County.

Of course, one of the reasons I've never found an Iceland Gull around here, aside from sheer incompetence, is that I don't particularly find gulls and their permutating molts particularly fun to sort through. Jason does. Jason has spent probably thousands of hours studying gulls. So today, when the group started to scan the bay from the picnic area of the park, it wasn't long before Scott and Jason were conferring and then, with much ceremony, Jason lowered his scope so that I could see, across the way, on a sand bar off Island Beach, my county lifer Iceland Gull.

I reached over my shoulder, grabbed that monkey off my back, and threw it into Barnegat Bay!

But it gets better. After we had walked on concrete covered part of the jetty, the group drove over to 9th St so we could walk the beach to the jetty without actually walking on the jetty and risking cracked skulls and (even more importantly) the estimated $35,000 worth of optics everyone was carrying. There, Jason set up shop again, and while everyone else was looking for Harlequin Ducks, Common Eiders, and Purple Sandpipers (all of which were found), he came up with a second Iceland Gull, this one much closer, on the north side of the jetty, and easier to see since its white body contrasted starkly with the algae-covered rocks of the jetty. Iceland Gull might not be considered rare in the county, but two Iceland Gulls trips the eBird filter. So it isn't like they're everywhere for the asking.

We got a decent number of the expected birds at the Light, though no year birds, but the day, for me was a roaring success. Now, I have to practice looking through gull flocks for the remainder of the year so I can find another one in 2020.

My list for the state park. Mike also had a Cooper's Hawk while my back was turned.
23 species
Brant  50
Greater Scaup  2
Common Eider  200
Harlequin Duck  4
Black Scoter  2
Long-tailed Duck  50
Bufflehead  12
Red-breasted Merganser  3
Ruddy Turnstone  4
Dunlin  100
Purple Sandpiper  5
Herring Gull  200
Iceland Gull  2   
Great Black-backed Gull  3
Red-throated Loon  1
Common Loon  20
Northern Gannet  6
Great Cormorant  5
Double-crested Cormorant  1
American Crow  1
European Starling  10
Northern Cardinal  1
House Sparrow  1

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Jackson 3/2--Horned Lark

Horned Larks, Jackson
Normally, a couple of scruffy old guys with binoculars cruising the grounds of a high school  is not a good idea--someone call the authorities! But on a Saturday afternoon you can get away with it.

After Mike's first Birds of Jackson trip for this year, we were going to head up to Point Pleasant Beach, but first we thought it might be a good idea to check out the lawns of the local high school since, for some reason, they seem to attract Horned Larks and Horned Larks are a very difficult bird to find in Ocean County. Especially now that one of the other reliable sites down in Stafford is undergoing development, making the bird potentially even more scarce.

Horned Larks prefer crappy habitat. The more hardscrabble and uninviting the ground looks the more likely you are to find larks there. So why they like the relatively lush, though brown, grass of the high school is a mystery, but they do. We were hoping to find one or two and almost immediately we did spot a couple. Then a couple more, then more and more until we had an eBird filter-busting count of 23 Horned Larks, all running around in the grass, all camouflaged extremely well, being the same color as the grass, except for their yellow eyebrows, which stood out splendidly.

Other highlights of our wanderings in Jackson Township this morning included 3 Bald Eagles in 3 different locales, a large flock of Common Mergansers on Prospertown Lake, a big flock of Snow Geese in the corn field on Hawkin Road (technically this is New Egypt), 3 Eastern Bluebirds on the wires along Success Road at Colliers Mills and 2 Tundra Swans in Success Lake about two miles up the road. Because of all the wet weather we've been having lately, we didn't attempt to drive all the way through Colliers Mills to Route 571, as we usually do--from the lake on that part of the road is probably more like a river, but instead turned around and drove out as we came in.

Canvasbacks (hens), Little Silver Lake
The noteworthy birds we had up in Point Pleasant Beach included a huge Northern Gannett show, with at least 350 birds flying north in flocks of of 10 & 20 seen from the jetty at Manasquan Inlet, Canvasbacks at both Little Silver Lake and Lake of the Lilies, and Lesser Scaup at both of those locations too.

Our last birds of the day were 3 Killdeer in the field next to the Wawa on Route 70 in Lakewood. Another field that is not long for underdevelopment. Enjoy 'em while you can, I guess.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

February Review--15 Year Birds

Savannah Sparrow (Ipswich ssp), Barnegat Light SP, with bling
Birding as a hobby: I go out and I walk around and I look for birds. I enjoy the birds for themselves--I watch crows mob first a Red-tailed Hawk, then a Northern Harrier at Manasquan River WMA; or I notice the bands on an Ipswich Savannah Sparrow; or I just admire how clean and crisp the Herring Gulls suddenly look as spring get closer.

Birding as a game: How many birds can I see today? This month? This year? In this county? In that county? Am I wasting my time in that county when I could be building up my list in this county?

This month it seemed like I alternated the hobby with the game every other day, although the game is always being played at some level. It is most satisfying when the hobby finds a bird I "need" for the game. The least satisfying is when I deliberately go looking for one bird for the game...and don't find it. Those are the times I have to remind myself, forcefully, that it's just a game, it is just a bird.

Northern Saw-whet Owl
With all that said, it was a pretty good month for the hobby and the game. Birds I wasn't expecting turned up, like the Barred Owl Mike and I heard at Eno's Pond on Sunday in the middle of the afternoon. We were just looking around there (hobby) and heard "Who cooks for you!" three times, adding the bird to our state and county lists (game). And it was a pretty good month for owls with a count of 4 species for the month: Barred, Saw-whet, Long-eared, Short-eared. Now, if we could only figure out where there's a Barn Owl in the state (hobby), preferably in Ocean County (game).

Now for some arithmetic: the 15 birds I added to my year list bring me up to 151 in two months. That's half of what I hope to see in NJ for the year. For the remaining 10 months of the year I will have to average 15 new birds a month--that should be easy in April and May during warbler migration and maybe in August during shorebird migration, but difficult the rest of the year, especially since I don't do pelagics so all the birds I see will be from land. That means I better enjoy the hobby because the game gets much more challenging hereon in.

Counties birded: Atlantic, Burlington, Cape May, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Warren
127 species:
Species            First Sighting
Snow Goose   Brig
Ross's Goose   Cream Ridge
Greater White-fronted Goose   Conine’s Millpond
Brant   Manasquan Inlet
Cackling Goose   Etra Lake 
Canada Goose   Bamber Lake
Mute Swan   Waretown
Trumpeter Swan   Stone Tavern Lake
Tundra Swan   Bamber Lake
Muscovy Duck   Fletcher Lake
Wood Duck   Little Silver Lake
Northern Shoveler   Lake Takanassee
Gadwall   Lake Takanassee
Eurasian Wigeon   Fletcher Lake
American Wigeon   Lake Takanassee
Mallard   Marshall's Pond
American Black Duck   Barnegat Beach
Northern Pintail   Forsythe-Barnegat
Green-winged Teal   Brig
Canvasback   Riverfront Landing
Redhead   Lake Takanassee
Ring-necked Duck   Marshall's Pond
Greater Scaup   Waretown
Lesser Scaup   Lake Takanassee
Common Eider   Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Harlequin Duck   Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Surf Scoter   Point Pleasant Beach
White-winged Scoter   Sunset Beach/Concrete Ship
Black Scoter   Manasquan Inlet
Long-tailed Duck   Waretown
Bufflehead   Waretown
Common Goldeneye   Cloverdale Farm
Hooded Merganser   Bamber Lake
Common Merganser   Marshall's Pond
Red-breasted Merganser   Waretown
Ruddy Duck   Riverfront Landing
Wild Turkey   New Egypt
Pied-billed Grebe   Lake Takanassee
Horned Grebe   Barnegat Municipal Dock
Rock Pigeon   New Egypt
Mourning Dove   Waretown
American Coot   Lake of the Lilies
American Oystercatcher   Brigantine Island
Killdeer   Cape May Point SP
Ruddy Turnstone   Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Sanderling   Manasquan Inlet
Dunlin   Manasquan Inlet
Purple Sandpiper   Manasquan Inlet
American Woodcock   Crestwood Village
Greater Yellowlegs   Eno’s Pond
Bonaparte's Gull   Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal
Ring-billed Gull   Waretown
Herring Gull   Bamber Lake
Iceland Gull   Edison Boat Launch
Lesser Black-backed Gull   Lake Takanassee
Great Black-backed Gull   Waretown
Red-throated Loon   Brigantine Island
Pacific Loon   Manasquan Inlet
Common Loon   Manasquan Inlet
Northern Gannet   Sunset Beach/Concrete Ship
Great Cormorant   Sayreville Marsh
Double-crested Cormorant   Riverfront Landing
Great Blue Heron   Cloverdale Farm
Black-crowned Night-Heron   Brig
Black Vulture   Pinehurst Rd
Turkey Vulture   Pinehurst Rd
Northern Harrier   Barnegat Municipal Dock
Sharp-shinned Hawk   Lake Takanassee
Cooper's Hawk   Colliers Mills WMA
Bald Eagle   Waretown
Red-shouldered Hawk   Cape May Point SP
Red-tailed Hawk   New Egypt
Rough-legged Hawk   BC Fairgrounds
Barred Owl   Eno’s Pond
Long-eared Owl   Assunpink WMA
Short-eared Owl   Pole Farm
Northern Saw-whet Owl   Pole Farm
Belted Kingfisher   Cattus Island County Park
Red-bellied Woodpecker   Poplar St Boat Ramp
Downy Woodpecker   Collinstown Rd
Hairy Woodpecker   New Egypt
Pileated Woodpecker   Assunpink WMA
Northern Flicker   New Egypt
American Kestrel   Plumsted
Merlin   Cranberry Bogs
Peregrine Falcon   Sayreville Marsh
Eastern Phoebe   Assunpink WMA
Blue Jay   Poplar St Boat Ramp
American Crow   35 Sunset Rd
Fish Crow   New Egypt
Common Raven   Cranberry Bogs
Carolina Chickadee   Poplar St Boat Ramp
Black-capped Chickadee   Merrill Creek Reservoir
Boreal Chickadee   Merrill Creek Reservoir
Tufted Titmouse   Collinstown Rd
Red-breasted Nuthatch   Collinstown Rd
White-breasted Nuthatch   Cloverdale Farm
Brown Creeper   Colliers Mills WMA
Carolina Wren   Collinstown Rd
Golden-crowned Kinglet   Brig
Eastern Bluebird   Cloverdale Farm
Hermit Thrush   Collinstown Rd
American Robin   Bamber Lake
Gray Catbird   Assunpink WMA
Northern Mockingbird   Collinstown Rd
European Starling   Barnegat Municipal Dock
House Finch   Collinstown Rd
Pine Siskin   Cloverdale Farm
American Goldfinch   Poplar St Boat Ramp
Chipping Sparrow   Manasquan River WMA
Field Sparrow   New Egypt
American Tree Sparrow   Shelter Cove Park
Fox Sparrow   Collinstown Rd
Dark-eyed Junco   Collinstown Rd
White-throated Sparrow   Poplar St Boat Ramp
Savannah Sparrow   Pole Farm
Song Sparrow   Poplar St Boat Ramp
Swamp Sparrow   Whitesbog
Eastern Meadowlark   Pole Farm
Red-winged Blackbird   Barnegat
Brown-headed Cowbird   New Egypt
Rusty Blackbird   Oros Wildlife Preserve
Common Grackle   New Egypt
Boat-tailed Grackle   Manasquan Inlet
Pine Warbler   Colliers Mills WMA
Yellow-rumped Warbler   Poplar St Boat Ramp
Northern Cardinal   Poplar St Boat Ramp
House Sparrow   Barnegat
Common Goldeneye, Cloverdale Farm

Monday, February 25, 2019

Merrill Creek Reservoir 2/25--Black-capped Chickadee, Boreal Chickadee

Boreal Chickadee
Photo courtesy and copyright Ernest P. Hahn
There are parallels between the stock market and birding. In the stock market, you invest money and the payoff is...more money. In birding, you invest time and the payoff is...birds. Of course, it doesn't always work out this way. Sometimes you lose money. Sometimes you don't get the bird. These thoughts started to occur to me on Saturday when I got the first alert that a Boreal Chickadee, a bird of the northern forests and a bird that hadn't been seen in NJ in over 30 years, was at the Visitor's Center of Merrill Creek Reservoir up in Warren County, a 4 hour round trip drive from my house. I didn't, as they say in investing, like the risk/reward of driving over 100 miles for a tiny bird that might not stick around.

On Sunday it was still there. I felt like a good stock was getting away from me, getting too expensive because now the drive was the same but the risk of it leaving was even more. When more and more reports kept rolling in the concept of "capitulation" came into play. When a stock is rocketing (or in the other extreme, dropping like a falling knife), even though you know it is a bad idea to chase it (or dump it) you do it anyway. When Mike, on Sunday afternoon, suggested we go up to Merrill Creek on Monday morning, I capitulated.

There is also a concept in technical investing called "The Three Day" rule which goes roughly like this: On the first day the smart money buys, on the second day, the semi-smart money buys, on the third day, the dumb money buys (or the inverse). The weather forecast for today was for high winds--gusts of 40 to 60 mph. The last thing Shari said to me last night before we fell asleep was "You know, when it's windy, birds hunker down." I was afraid we were going to be the birding equivalent of dumb money.

However, the dumb money can be successful (read: lucky) if it transacts its business early in the day before everything collapses, so Mike and I were on the road at 7 for the 2 hour drive to the reservoir. Halfway there we got an alert that the bird was still present. Upon arrival, instead of the mob scene of the weekend that had been described to me, there were only 4 or 5 old retired guys, like us standing beneath a Norway spruce. The bird had been seen very recently. Mike went off to the Visitor's Center. I stood with the guys, a couple of whom I knew (including Ernie, who provided the photo above). Within 5 minutes the bird flew into the spruce. I got brief, decent looks at it. Mike, however, was still inside. When he emerged, I told him I was ready to go. I am still alive.

We stood around some more, but not very long, as more birders arrived, more of whom we knew and then the bird, like a bullet, came out of the spruce and landed in a thicket behind us. Great naked eye looks at the bird.

Black-capped Chickadee
Oddly, I thought, the chickadee wasn't going to the feeders maintained by the staff of the very handsome and comfortable (and warm) Visitor's Center. Black-capped Chickadees, however, were, and these birds were also new state year birds for us. Amusingly, the other rare bird at the feeders was a Carolina Chickadee, identified by the small amount of white on its wings and not the "hockey stick" pattern of the black-capped. The ranges of Black-caps and Carolinas have been moving and merging and the birds do hybridize and probably if it weren't for the extensive DNA research done on these two species they'd be lumped as one.

Having two year birds, why not try for a third? A hen Barrow's Goldeneye has been present on the reservoir for a while. Not an easy bird to identify and though someone said there was one in his scope, Mike and I decided to get our scopes out of the car and walk closer to the water's edge (and out of the wind) to scan the goldeneye flock. Despite about an hour of serious scanning, we couldn't come up with the Barrow's. I should have looked in that guy's scope, but I doubt I would have found the duck from that distance. We did see a hen Long-tailed Duck, which didn't really register as anything special to us--we're from Ocean County--but on an inland body of water, that duck comes up as rare too.

So, one mega-rarity for the day and two very common south Jersey birds that were about 50 miles out of their range. The wind was, as forecast, brutal. That we lasted for over 2 hours is a testament to either our fortitude or silliness. But overall, I'd say it was a good investment of our time.
21 species
Long-tailed Duck  1    
Bufflehead  5
Common Goldeneye  30
Hooded Merganser  2
Common Merganser  3
Bald Eagle  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  2
Downy Woodpecker  1
Hairy Woodpecker  1    Heard
Northern Flicker  1
Blue Jay  1    Heard
American Crow  1    Heard
Carolina Chickadee  1   
Black-capped Chickadee  5
Boreal Chickadee  1    
Tufted Titmouse  2
White-breasted Nuthatch  2
Eastern Bluebird  4
Dark-eyed Junco  6
White-throated Sparrow  1
Song Sparrow  2    Heard