2014 off and running……

Ann and I celebrated New Years Day by trying to get a big start on our 2014 bird count.  The best we have done in previous years is 194.  Our goal this year is to try to hit 210.  So off we went to spend a couple of hours before we wanted to watch the Rose Bowl Game.  We are both natives of Michigan, albeit we haven’t lived there in 60 years.  But we are still Michigan State fans.  Many of you older generation folks may remember the great Earl Morrel, the quarterback for MSU the lead the Spartans to multiple Rose Bowl wins.  Later he starred as the great backup for John Unitas in the NFL.  He went to high school at the same time I did.  We knew each other, but distantly, he was the BMOC (big man on campus).  I was the local nerd.

So back to birding.  We counted 32 species in a couple of hours, so maybe that will give us some momentum towards our 210.  It was cool and windy, but sunny and cloudless.  Photographically, I didn’t come away with much.  We saw a beautiful Great Egret feeding along a small waterway, so we watched and waited for him to take flight.  When he did I was able to capture some nice images.  This is one that I liked.  Photographed with my Canon EOS 70D and 100-400mm lens.  Shutter priority, 1/3200 sec. @ f5/6, minus 1/3 EV adjustment, ISO 320.

Great Egret in flight.

Great Egret in flight.

So let’s lift our glasses, (binoculars or tumblers, your choice) to having a great 2014.  Happy New year to all. 🙂

30 thoughts on “2014 off and running……

  1. Gorgeous photo, Bob – superb spread of his wing feathers, and a lovely light in his eye. I can see why you love herons and egrets so much. A very Happy New Year to you and Ann!

  2. What a great Egret photo! Pun intended, by the way. Beautiful detail. With Syl, a toast to you! 32 species is a great way to start the year. We’ll keep tabs on each other as we go along!

    • Okay, great idea, Judy. I added another a few minutes ago. A House Sparrow. Believe it or not I didn’t see one yesterday. So I now have 33 for the year. And if you are interested, my life list is 263. I hope to add a few more to that, too. So yes, please let me know how you are doing, and we’ll see how we turn out. BTW, thanks for the compliment on the photo. 🙂

      • I’ll be very curious to compare during spring migration. From what I’m reading, Texas is a good birding spot – on the migration flyway through the center of the continent. Where we’re on the Atlantic flyway. Are you far enough south to see some of the ‘south Texas specialties’, as they denote them in the Petersons Guides?

        • Birding is excellent in Texas, particularly in the deep south of the state. They do have some of those ‘specialties’ in that area. I am to the northwest of that area at the edge of the Chichuahuan desert. We don’t get quite as many of those, but nevertheless, there are 381 species that can be seen in my area, depending the time of the year. And with my life list of only 263, I have a long ways to go to see them all, if ever. But that is what it is all about……the fun of the hunt. 🙂

          Oh, I drove downtown by the river about an hour ago and added 6 more. 39 now for the year. But actually, it is easy right now. Practically, every bird right now you see you can write down. But as the year slides by it gets harder. That’s why I like to build a little momentum early.

          It is going to be fun comparing, though. 🙂

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