Last week, SIB reminded us of Global Big Day on Saturday. I chose to recognize the day by observing birds in my backyard while my wife scoured the island in an attempt to see the maximum number of birds in a day.
Armed with my binoculars, a camera and Merlin Bird ID app, I was ready to bird from the comfort of my sunroom and deck. Early in the morning, I refilled the feeders and bird baths to provide my feathered friends with their favorite treats. Through-out the day they expressed their appreciation with their visits.
For the day, I was able to report 20 species. The first visitors of the day were the American Crows, but they were quickly followed by Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Tufted Titmouse and Painted Bunting. The day ended with two species I was unable to photograph….a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak at the feeder and the finally, the noisy Chuck-will’s-widow identified only by its sound.
The fun highlight of the day was when I heard a ruckus of several Blue Jays. I looked out to see they had chased a Red-tailed Hawk to a limb at the corner of the yard. I literally ran for the camera (always where you are not) and was able to capture him on “film”. Just as I put the camera away, a “thump” was heard. The hawk had left its perch and had hit the birdbath in a successful capture of a squirrel.
Never able to capture it with my camera, I watched it carry its prey from a branch on one corner of the yard to his original perch then finally chased by some crows to a neighbor’s yard. One less Seabrook Island squirrel trying to find a way to eat the birds’ food. A Great Egret meandered over the yard in search of a skink but neither he nor I were successful in capturing our prey. I did get a picture of the Osprey flying over plus several other pictures as seen below.
Patricia Schaefer, Melanie Jerome and Joleen Ardaiolo also shared their backyard finds with SIB. They were able to report a Common Ground Dove (Patricia), Common Grackle (Patricia), Belted Kingfisher (Joleen), and White-breasted Nuthatch (Joleen) which were not seen by the marathon birders. Expect to hear more about the marathon birders’ day in another blog.
Submitted by: Dean Morr