Saturday, February 14, 2009

Raven Counting

It was fairly overcast last night and the wind had picked up. This carried over to this morning and I was beginning to think I wouldn't have a chance to get out and about to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count. Fortune smiled on me, however, as the skies cleared, allowing me to get outside earlier this afternoon. I was much better prepared this year, having borrowed my room mate's binoculars. I also brought along a camera on the off chance I saw something I couldn't identify.

Now, even though its called a backyard bird count, I had to make for a few allowances. Firstly, I don't really have much of a backyard. Second of all, I could probably stand out behind my building all day and not see very much in this land without trees, bushes or bird feeders. I had to cast my net a little wider. With this in mind, I walked down to the bay where the dog teams were - 34 Common Ravens sighted. I then set off across the bay toward the dump and sewage lagoon. My ipod then folded on me due to the -30C temperatures as I got up off the ice to the road leading to the dump, leaving me to enjoy the immense silence. Luck smiled on me as I neared the dump - a giant mass of ravens. As I fumbled to get my binoculars out, a number of them reciprocated my excitement at seeing them by promptly flying off. I was however able to get a count of a further 32 birds before the cold finally started to get to me and I decided to beat a retreat. I also got a few scenic pictures and definitely surpassed my count from last year (I think it was 12) so all in all, a pleasant day. Bird totals for the territory so far can be found here.

A couple photos from this afternoon's excursion.



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