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