Will this Eternal CBC Ever End?

I feel like Bill Murray in the movie “Groundhog Day” except my reoccurring day is that every time I get ready to go out birding I feel like I’m heading out for a cold Christmas Bird Count.  I don’t even bother checking the weather anymore.  Put some Vaseline on my face, layer up on the clothes, put on the winter boots, and head out the door.  I am ready for it to end already.

But thanks to a post on I-Bird by Linda Kilbert of Snow Buntings being at the Bargersville Grain Elevator, Sunday I added another bird to my Johnson County list. Number 198. I had been checking the Kokomo Grain Elevator north of Edinburgh and hadn’t thought of the large elevator at Bargersville.  Saturday at Kokomo there had been 150 Horned Larks and a couple of Lapland Longspurs but no Snow Buntings.  Today at Bargersville there was 12 Snow Buntings mixed in with the 70 Horned Larks and once again a couple of Lapland Longspurs.

Immediately upon arriving I noticed the Snow Buntings mixed in with the Horned Larks. Johnson County Bird #198 Bargersville 02/09/14

Immediately upon arriving I noticed the Snow Buntings mixed in with the Horned Larks. Johnson County Bird #198
Bargersville 02/09/14

I could never get one of the Lapland Longspurs in a tight shot as the Horned Larks and Snow Buntings.  So this wider angle view.  Lapland Longspur left front.  Bargersville 02/09/14

I could never get one of the Lapland Longspurs in a tight shot with the Horned Larks and Snow Buntings. So this wider angle view. Lapland Longspur left front. Bargersville 02/09/14

You have got to love getting another county bird in the middle of a small urban setting.  Horned Larks, Snow Buntings, and a Lapland Longspur or two.  Bargersville.  02/09/14

You have got to love getting another county bird in the middle of a small urban setting. Horned Larks, Snow Buntings, and a Lapland Longspur or two. Bargersville. 02/09/14

Also Saturday I walked the perimeter of Irwin Park in Edinburgh hoping to find something on the Big Blue River.  There were a pair of Common Goldeneye which was new for the park and I’ve read are turning up everywhere.  There were also several birds flying out to a little open spot in the river for a drink.

Eastern Bluebirds getting a drink at the only open water on the east side of the park along the Big Blue River.  I also saw Mourning Doves and a Northern Flicker fly out. Irwin Park 02/09/14

Eastern Bluebirds getting a drink at the only open water on the east side of the park along the Big Blue River. I also saw Mourning Doves and a Northern Flicker fly out. Irwin Park 02/09/14

Sunday on the way to Bargersville I stopped by the pond behind Walmart/Lowes.  No turnover of species from last week but a new addition were a couple of guys ice fishing.  And I thought I’m a little off birding in this cold…

Two guys ice fishing in the light snow.  Lowes/Walmart Pond 02/09/14

Two guys ice fishing in the light snow. Lowes/Walmart Pond 02/09/14

Sunday afternoon I took my usual weekend walk.  With the snow being deep I stayed in town and walked the Greenway Trail, which had not been plowed.  I thought it might hold a surprise since the water was still flowing.

But not really since it was still cold as seen by this Great Blue Heron.

Nice warm spot out of the wind and in the sun.  Really wasn't all that warm.  Great Blue Heron.  Greenway Trail, Franklin 02/09/14

Nice warm spot out of the wind and in the sun. Really wasn’t all that warm. Great Blue Heron. Greenway Trail, Franklin 02/09/14

The local Belted Kingfisher did not seem to mind the cold and was actively fishing.

This lady didn't care that it was cold.  She was fishing along the Hurricane Creek which parallels the Greenway Trail.  Franklin 02/09/14

This lady didn’t care that it was cold. She was fishing along the Hurricane Creek which parallels the Greenway Trail. Franklin 02/09/14

But it felt good to get out and walk instead of hanging around the house.

Not sure what number 200 will be but it will probably be in the spring.  The only winter birds I think I could possible see are a Rough-legged Hawk or the nemesis Winter Wren.  Red-breasted Nuthatch and Pine Siskin seem out since this isn’t an eruptive year. So it will probably be in the spring when there are many others that I might see,

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3 Responses to Will this Eternal CBC Ever End?

  1. Andy says:

    I also have been braving the cold to go out birding, but it’s been a great time to see waterfowl, especially at Fairfax SRA. With most of Lake Monroe frozen, the marina has been a hotspot for viewing ducks and geese, including White-winged Scoters and a Long-tailed Duck.

    Here’s to hoping that spring arrives soon, and, with it, the arrival of many different migrants.

    • BobC says:

      Do they keep the water from freezing around the boats at Fairfax so there is always open water? That would make for good birding. I have to rely on the ducks and geese to keep there water open. And I have been checking some areas where the local rivers haven’t froze but not much luck.
      Temps in the 40’s next week. Spring getting closer.

      Bob

      • Andy says:

        Yes, there are dock bubblers keeping the area around the marina free of ice, so sightings have been pretty consistent there. Plus, there’s always that chance for a rarity to show up. I doubt that will be the case next week, but I’ll be looking forward to checking out other areas.

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