By S. J. Brown
So how was your Valentine’s Day? Did it include candy, a card, flowers and dinner out? Jay and I celebrate Valentine’s Day in a less traditional way. Last year it was bitter cold, and windy, I am sure most people opted to spend the day indoors.
We chose to get up before the sun, bundle up and head to Delaware. My thought was if the critters could brave the cold, so could I. The Horseshoe crabs and most of the shore birds I normally photograph in Delaware were gone. The robins and goldfinches were basking in the warmer temperatures further south. However my efforts were rewarded by thousands of Snow Geese.
We enjoyed being just below the gigantic flock of geese as they soared over head. However the Hawk that was trapped beneath the flock wasn’t having any fun. He had to be content with hovering in the same general area until the flock had passed.
Large numbers of Canada geese also decided to spend the winter in Delaware.
This year’s plan includes venturing just a bit further to New Jersey. There we will be looking for Loons, waterfowl, Owls, Tundra Swans, raptors, deer, and coyotes. Yes this is a long list, but when we go looking for birds that migrate it really is hit or miss. On our trip to Minnesota we missed the Loons by just a few days. However the Whooping Cranes arrived about the same time we did.
On our way beck to West Virginia we will spend some time in Delaware. I am hoping this trip will yield lots of new images to share in the future. The purpose of this trip is multi fold. Of course I will be photographing any critter I find. I will also be counting birds.
For 19 years volunteers have been counting birds. This year the count dates are February 12 to February 15th. Last year more than 140,000 people took part in the count. You can count from your own backyard for as little as 15 minutes. More information on the Great Backyard Bird Count can be found at birdcount.org .
Why count birds? This annual count gives scientist a snapshot of the world’s bird population. Those of you that follow my blog know I also tag and count Monarch butterflies. My part in these annual events is small, but when combined with the efforts of other volunteers our efforts provide a huge amount of data.
Is there an annual event you take part in? Your contribution, no matter how small, really does count.
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