Best Birding ‘Big Day’


Birders often try to have a Big Year, where they try to see how many different species of birds they can observe in one year.  Some may try for one month.  Ann and I are always trying to see how many we might see in one day.  Our previous record was 44.  Today, Sunday February 9, we saw a new record of 48.  We were gone from the house for about four hours and a half.  However we only added one more to our on-going list of our Big Year.  It now stands at 94 after adding a Brown Creeper today.

It was great fun, as I also got some nice photos, which some days I fail to do.  We saw a Verdin again, and I finally got it in my viewfinder, as well as a nice shot of a Western Bluebird.  Heck, why don’t I just show you a few highlights.

Verdin - at feeder at San Angelo State Park.

Verdin – at feeder at San Angelo State Park.

We decided to make a stop at San Angelo State Park.  There we saw the above pictured Verdin.  This is the first time I have ever seen one at a feeder, as usually they are timid and keep pretty much to themselves.

Western Bluebird - showing off it's beautiful plumage.

Western Bluebird – showing off it’s beautiful plumage.

The Western Bluebird was scratching in the grass, and I guess I disturbed it and I caught her (it is a female), beautiful plumage as she tried to fly.

Great Egret - triumphant with his catch.

Great Egret – triumphant with his catch.

When this Great Egret caught this fish, I thought he was going to come out of his shoes, so to speak.  You can see that his feet left the water.  I love these beautiful birds.

Killdeer -  he was doing a bit of feeding, too.

Killdeer – he was doing a bit of feeding, too.

Red-tailed Hawk.

Red-tailed Hawk.

High above it all, atop a dead tree, was this Red-tailed Hawk.

Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper

As for the Brown Creeper, I was unable to get a clear shot of it today, so I will show you the above shot that I got of it a couple of years ago.

Click an any image to see an enlargement.  Also if you are interested in seeing a complete list of what we saw today, here it is:

  1. Northern Mockingbird
  2. House Sparrow
  3. White-winged Dove
  4. Blue Jay
  5. Gadwall
  6. Bufflehead
  7. Northern Shoveler
  8. Northern Cardinal
  9. Western Meadowlark
  10. Great-tailed Grackle
  11. Great Blue Heron
  12. American Coot
  13. Ring-billed Duck
  14. Great Egret
  15. Osprey
  16. Double-crested Cormorant
  17. Mallard
  18. Green-winged Teal
  19. Cinnamon Teal
  20. Killdeer
  21. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  22. Brown Creeper
  23. American Pelican
  24. Belted Kingfisher
  25. Red-tailed Hawk
  26. Northern Harrier
  27. Golden-fronted Woodpecker
  28. Greater Yellowlegs
  29. European Starling
  30. Black Vulture
  31. Northern Flicker
  32. Wilson’s Snipe
  33. Mute Swan
  34. House Finch
  35. Black-crested Titmouse
  36. Verdin
  37. Pyrrhuloxia
  38. Curve-billed Thrasher
  39. Canyon Towhee
  40. White-crowned Sparrow
  41. Chipping Sparrow
  42. Red-winged Blackbird
  43. Ringed-neck Duck
  44. American Wigeon
  45. Pied-billed Grebe
  46. Western Bluebird
  47. Eastern Bluebird
  48. Ladder-backed Woodpecker