‘T’was the day after New Year’s Day

Today, January 2, was gloomy, freezing, icy, wet, and all that goes with it.  We woke up – again- with everything covered with a coat of ice.  Another day of staying in.  Right??  Wrong.  Hey, we’re birders and we always find a way.  We were anxious to get started on our Big Year 2015 list.

After sitting around all morning trying to stay warm, we decided that we could stay warm in the car.  The streets and roads were not in bad shape as long as we stayed off the high-speed loop and avoided icy bridges.

Osprey - note ice-covered branches.

Osprey – note ice-covered branches.

We waited until about 1:15 and decided to wend our way to the local parks around Lake Nasworthy to see what we could from the car.  We didn’t figure that we would see much.  A very light freezing drizzle accompanied us throughout.  The temperature was steady at 34 degrees F.  I kept the windshield wipers on very slow and we drove slowly through the ice-covered environment.

Surprisingly, we did see a good variety of birds, including the Osprey pictured above.  We avoided driving through the soft mushy ground along the fence lines so we didn’t see any of the small kinglets or wrens that may have been there.

Western Meadowlark

Western Meadowlark

There were several grackles, starlings and meadowlarks on the ground.  In the water there was an abundance of Double-crested and a few Neotropic Cormorants.  Frankly, I was surprised to see the Neotropics here this time of year.

We spooked a Red-tailed Hawk from a tree just above the car.  I failed to see him in time to get a photo.  A few Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets made their way through the gloom.  The lighting was definitely the best for photography, not to mention the mist that I tried to stay from the camera.

We drove through the dampness for about three hours and netted 27 species for the day.  It was actually quite fun.  We were cozy in the car, only opening the windows for closer looks, the closing them again.

So we are off and running for the year.  Now to finish up this post, get some sleep and go again tomorrow morning……after an hour of so to get thing thawed again.

Again, you will be able to follow our Big Year progress by clicking on my Big Year 2015 page above.

14 thoughts on “‘T’was the day after New Year’s Day

  1. Ice in your area must be a shock but good for you, you got a couple of great shots here.Love the frosty feathers. It was minus forty this morning in Alberta, Canada so going to dress for the weather and get out in the sunshine after days and days of gloomy overcast skies (and flu). Who knows, it may be good weather for birding.Happy New Year!

  2. LOVE the Osprey! Now you are in my Minnesota weather! Of course, tomorrow our high is -2 below. Don’t think it’ll be that cold down there! Stay warm, Bob! Sheila

  3. The osprey on ice coated branches is so nice. The meadowlark almost looks like spring…two season in your first 2015 winter drive! Very nice and you are off to a good start! warm new year hugs

  4. Congratulations on a wonderful start to your birding year! That is a great photo of the osprey! My list has started out a bit slow so far, with only the common species so I’m only up to 12 so far. I walked the dogs yesterday afternoon and then went back out with just my camera, hoping to catch something different but didn’t see anything but dark-eyed juncos and white-breasted nuthatches! There are a pair of hawks that ply the fields beside and behind our house, so I was hoping to get a glimpse of them but they were nowhere to be see! Oh well, I’ve got the whole year, right?? 🙂

    Have fun, Bob, and stay safe. We are getting ice here today, too and have to travel to Big Rapids so not the best day for travel.

  5. Have been trapped inside here too by choice. Single digits in the morning but warming up this next week. Great shots. Meadowlark is my favorite bird. Thanks for sharing that one. Good luck this year with your list! Happy New Year. 🙂

  6. What a great start, Bob! I was amazed to see that coating of ice, and there’s even a frosting on the osprey’s feathers. Love your photos. It may not even be as cold here, but I think it’s due to get colder this weekend. We want to get out too!

    • Thanks, Jo. Thinks are looking better now. Of course, weather like that doesn’t last long here. Usually gone in a day or two. I appreciate your kind words about my photos. 🙂

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