As Maeve reported from her travels today there are birds aplenty
everywhere. I went seeking field birds driven to the roadsides by the
blanketing snow, and there were lots in numbers, if not in species.
Drove around western Shoreham, Bridport, and Addison wherever there were
large fields by the roads. For a landscape that has revealed virtually
no field birds for quite some time lately, the birds appeared seemingly
out of nowhere to be everywhere. I drove parts of 14 roads and
encountered over 40 separate and mixed flocks of Horned Larks and Snow
Buntings, sometimes with Lapland Longspurs mixed in. The flocks ranged
in size from 4-5 birds to well over 200.
Via counts and estimates I totaled 1660 Snow Buntings, 1240 Horned
Larks, and 59 Lapland Longspurs (including one group of 22).
While this seems like a lot of birds, the story seems more that the
flocks are small, but plentiful. Last year, just about this time
(February 29th) I counted one single flock of Snow Buntings that lit in
a tree near the north end of Jersey Street in Ferrisburgh at 4420 birds
(counted from photographs).
Don't know what raptors were doing for prey. Saw only 7 Red-tailed
Hawks, 3 Rough-legged Hawks, 2 Harriers (a pair), and 1 Cooper's Hawk.
One farm on Nortontown Road in Addison was hosting a flock of 640
Starlings and a very noisy crowd of 560 Ring-billed Gulls (another
cluster of 190 was just down the road).
Trotting down a couple of gravel roads were a total of 8 Killdeer. Saw
only 12 Robins (a group of 11 plus one individual).
Birds of interest today at our house (on the south end of Snake Mountain
in Cornwall) included 22 Redpoll, 110 Bohemian Waxwings, and a really
trim and spiffy Song Sparrow.