Saturday, December 31, 2005

Last Day of the Year

It's been largely a dreary day for the last day of the year, but an active one for the weather. So far today, I've had rain, snow, sleet, freezing rain and a moment or two when the sun even shone weakly.

I've been working on my bird list for the month and have come to the conclusion that winter birding is as much about birds that I should have seen but didn't as it is about the birds I've seen. Since my main bird list is only for Roundtop Mountain, it's also sometimes about birds that I saw just off the mountain but didn't see on the property. Today, I added northern flicker to December 2005's Roundtop listing, but given the dreary state of the weather, a glimpse at a turkey vulture or a black vulture is probably out of the question. I've seen both of those near the mountain this month but not at the mountain. This morning I saw a sharp-shinned hawk right near the edge of the property, and I'm still trying to figure out if it qualifies as being on the mountain property or not. This morning I also saw a huge flock of Canada geese moving north, perhaps 500 birds in the flock. I suspect they were heading towards the Susquehanna River.

Tomorrow, a new year and a new birding list. January 1 is a day when even a starling is a "new" bird.

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