Spotted 35 Bird Species from the Car Window

Male American Kestrel. © 2016 Mary K. Hanson. All rights reserved.
Male American Kestrel. © 2016 Mary K. Hanson. All rights reserved.

I switched one of the meds I’m taking for the bronchitis thing to a strict antihistamine last night, and the new med knocked me out.  So I got some much-needed sleep, but didn’t wake up until about 8:30 am.  Today was the start of the Great Backyard Bird Count (http://gbbc.birdcount.org/get-started/) AND I needed to go out to get refills on some of my meds anyway, so I tried venturing out in the fresh air… a little bit.

I didn’t feel anywhere near strong enough to go for one of my 3-hour walks, but I still wanted some air and to see some birds, so I drove over to the Cosumnes River Preserve and drove around the farm roads that butt up against it.  Last year, when I did the bird count, I only counted those species of which I got good photographs.  This year, I counted whatever I saw whether I got a good photo of it or not.  For the large flocks (like geese and Coots) I rounded off the numbers to 100.  In the end, for the Backyard Bird Count today alone I saw 35 species that I could identify just from the car; thought I did pretty well for one location.  I saw:

100      Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons

20        Canada Goose Branta canadensis

10        Gadwall Anas strepera

16        American Wigeon Anas americana

25        Mallard Anas platyrhynchos

2          Cinnamon Teal Anas cyanoptera

26        Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata

20        Northern Pintail Anas acuta

4          Green-winged Teal Anas crecca

3          Great Egret Ardea alba

2          Snowy Egret Egretta thula

3          Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis

1          Sora Porzana carolina

100      American Coot Fulica americana

6          Sandhill Crane Grus canadensis

5          Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus

2          Killdeer Charadrius vociferus

3          Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca

6          Dunlin Calidris alpina

1          Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus

2          American Kestrel Falco sparverius

1          Prairie Falcon Falco mexicanus

3          Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans

1          Say’s Phoebe Sayornis saya

1          Western Scrub-Jay Aphelocoma californica

3          Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor

2          Marsh Wren Cistothorus palustris

6          European Starling Sturnus vulgaris

3          Yellow-rumped Warbler Setophaga coronata

6          Golden-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia atricapilla

2          Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia

50        Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus

10        Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta

50        Brewer’s Blackbird Euphagus cyanocephalus

15         House Finch Haemorhous mexicanus

 

I then headed home, stopped at the store to pick up some meds and a few other things, and collapsed for the rest of the day.  I really think getting myself out into the fresh air helped.  We’ll see how I feel tomorrow, though.

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Mary K. Hanson is an author, nature photographer and Certified California Naturalist living with terminal cancer.