February 2014 Recap – Frozen Water

I thought I would start keeping a recap of the months so I would have a written record of what happened each month. Not just guess on what I thought I remembered. Like the quarterly recaps of the Indiana Audubon.  This would supplement my eBird lists.

This will be no surprise to anyone living in the Midwest that everything was affected in February by the snow, cold, and ice. Including birding.  This can easily be seen from my 2013 Johnson County list where I saw 71 species of birds compared to this year’s 56. Lists shown below. The way I remember February 2013 (see, no blog to look back at) was it was milder with most of the water open all month. There ware a few days were there was frozen ice but nothing like 2014. This year the water I usually bird was frozen except for a small hole in the Lowes/Walmart pond. And the Big Blue River in Edinburgh was partially open. But later in the month it was swollen from rain and melting snow.  So it really wasn’t good for birding.

The biggest difference between the 2014 and 2013 totals can be seen in the waterfowl totals. Last year I had  17 species of waterfowl and 10 this year. Also a lack of open water kept the Bald Eagles from coming back Atterbury . And the Ring-billed Gulls did not return like last year when they were eating the small fish at Pisgah Lake in Atterbury.

Also I noticed the sparrows that were abundant last year were missing this year. I don’t know if they were deeper in the bushes or wintered farther south.

Most of the birds I did see this year were the birds you would expect in winter in the Midwest  except for the Greater-white Fronted Geese at Lowes pond.

Greater White-fronted Goose on left, Canada Goose on right.  Picture was good for showing size difference between the species.  Picture taken 11/11/13  at Starved Rock State Park in Illinois.  Since the Greater White-fronted Goose came down the Illinois River Flyway, more were seen than in Indiana, but they were still an uncommon bird there.

Greater White-fronted Goose on left, Canada Goose on right. Picture was good for showing size difference between the species. Picture taken 11/11/13 at Starved Rock State Park in Illinois. Since the Greater White-fronted Goose came down the Illinois River Flyway, more were seen than in Indiana.  But they were still an uncommon bird there.

On the birding exercise front I lost four more pounds. I didn’t get to walk anywhere near as much as I wanted due to the fact that it was really cold and the trail I walk on was covered with 8-12 inches of snow a lot of days. So I ended up taking smaller walks around the local school. But I did increase my Big Walking Day on the last Saturday of the month to 12 miles.

Could I have seen more birds car birding than walking? Not sure because of the weather.

February 2013 – Johnson County February 2014 – Johnson County
Cackling Goose Greater White-fronted Goose
Canada Goose Canada Goose
Wood Duck Wood Duck
Gadwall American Black Duck
American Wigeon Mallard
American Black Duck Redhead
Mallard Common Goldeneye
Northern Shoveler Hooded Merganser
Northern Pintail Common Merganser
Redhead Great Blue Heron
Ring-necked Duck Turkey Vulture
Lesser Scaup Northern Harrier
Bufflehead Cooper’s Hawk
Common Goldeneye Red-shouldered Hawk
Hooded Merganser Red-tailed Hawk
Pied-billed Grebe American Coot
Great Blue Heron Sandhill Crane
Turkey Vulture Killdeer
Sharp-shinned Hawk Rock Pigeon
Cooper’s Hawk Mourning Dove
Bald Eagle Barred Owl
Red-shouldered Hawk Belted Kingfisher
Red-tailed Hawk Red-bellied Woodpecker
American Coot Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Sandhill Crane Downy Woodpecker
Killdeer Northern Flicker
American Woodcock Pileated Woodpecker
Ring-billed Gull American Kestrel
Rock Pigeon Blue Jay
Mourning Dove American Crow
Great Horned Owl Horned Lark
Barred Owl Carolina Chickadee
Northern Saw-whet Owl Tufted Titmouse
Belted Kingfisher White-breasted Nuthatch
Red-bellied Woodpecker Brown Creeper
Downy Woodpecker Carolina Wren
Hairy Woodpecker Golden-crowned Kinglet
Northern Flicker Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Pileated Woodpecker Eastern Bluebird
American Kestrel American Robin
Blue Jay Northern Mockingbird
American Crow European Starling
Horned Lark Lapland Longspur
Carolina Chickadee Snow Bunting
Tufted Titmouse American Tree Sparrow
White-breasted Nuthatch Song Sparrow
Brown Creeper White-throated Sparrow
Carolina Wren White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Kinglet Dark-eyed Junco
Ruby-crowned Kinglet Northern Cardinal
Eastern Bluebird Red-winged Blackbird
American Robin Eastern Meadowlark
Northern Mockingbird Common Grackle
European Starling House Finch
Yellow-rumped Warbler American Goldfinch
Eastern Towhee House Sparrow
American Tree Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow
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