While we were not quite as target-driven as usual today, we nevertheless had a number of possible species in mind . On the mammal side, we are ever-hopeful that an American Marten might show up. This is a mammal we fully expected to see this year, but to date - no luck! On the birding side, we had no expectation of a new year-bird but we hoped to come across a Short-eared Owl, or possibly a Spruce Grouse, or maybe an adult Northern Goshawk. Additionally, while new year-birds are unlikely in the area at this point, we're always on the look out for upgrades to our photo collection.
For the most part, it was pretty quiet today but there are always a few active moments and today was no exception. The cone crop is looking good right now and we soon came across good numbers of Common Redpolls and White-winged Crossbills. At one stop we were surrounded by Red-breasted Nuthatches, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Chickadees, Gray Jays and Blue Jays. There were so many and they were so vocal we expected to see a raptor fly in at any moment but none appeared.
|Gray Jays were fairly common.|
|Pine Grosbeak in full colour!|
We saw a few other mammals this morning too: White-tailed Deer, Mule Deer, White-tailed Jackrabbit and Red Squirrel. The Red Squirrel posed nicely for us in stunning morning sunlight.
Mike couldn't join us today but next week we're all four going to be in town and undoubtedly we'll be out looking for species 506!