Joany’s Woods

This morning I walked the 3.5 mile Inch Trail in Joany’s Woods.  The weather could not have been better.  Nice birds are beginning to arrive.  Highlights this morning were Wood Duck, Great Blue Heron, Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Flicker, Blue-headed Vireo, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Palm Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, Field Sparrow and a late season Snowy Owl.




2018 — Year of the Bird

National Geographic, the Cornel Lab of Ornithology, BirdLife International and another 50 other organizations are joining together to celebrate the 100 anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the most important bird-protection law ever passed.  All of the bird magazines and journals are carrying articles about this celebration.  Click on the link to read more about this powerful piece of legislation.


Trip to a well-known birding destination

In the Upper Rio Grande Valley, a very famous birding destination is Salineno, Texas.  This small town is located on the Rio Grande River, a little southeast of Falcon Lake State Park.  It is a very small village.  Between the village and the River, there is a bird feeding station.  It is staffed by a couple of volunteers.  They live there for the winter months.  The bird feed is purchased thru donations left by visitors.  During the day, birders just drop in and sit in the chairs provided, watch the birds coming to the feeders and chit chat with the volunteers.  Red-winged Blackbirds, Great Kiskadees, Golden-fronted and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, Altamira Orioles, Audubon’s Orioles, Black-crested Titmice and Bob-white are regular visitors.  I was there last Saturday and took this pictures.

The Salineno area in one of the only places in the United States where it is possible to find White-collared Seedeater.



Bird Festivals

There numerous bird festivals throughout the year all across Canada and the United States.

Here is a link to and article about the festivals and a map that highlights the various festivals.



Jan 1st ……bit of a tradition with me

Generally, on the first day of the year, I review my checklist for the previous.  I use the checklist, published by the Ontario Field Ornithologists.  It is a handy checklist.  If I see birds that are not listed there, I write them down in the space provided at the back.  And since I spend half the year in Texas, I see a lot of birds that are not listed in this checklist.  But I cling to my old ways.  Now, instead of writing them in, I type up a list of the birds I have seen that are not in the Ontario checklist, print them out and tape them in at the back of the checklist.  Works for me.

In 2017, I saw 252 species.



Big surprise

While driving around the backroads in preparations for next Saturday’s Harlingen (Texas) Christmas Bird Count, I discovered a Burrowing Owl.  These small owls can sometimes be found in plowed fields, rock piles, etc.  This owl was just about 10 feet off the dirt road I was driving down.  It did not fly away.  Just sat there looking at me.  Of all days to leave my camera behind.

Snowy Owls on Seed Road

There is another report of TWO Snowy Owls on Seed Road.  They were both seen just north of the intersection of Seed Road and Highway 22.  Here is a good opportunity to see these beautiful birds.