Keeping a year list is one of the great pleasures of birding. Year lists are our New Year’s Resolution to keep birding. Lists reset to zero and you get to start counting Chickadees, Bluejays and Robins . . . one, two, three.
The lunatic fringe begins their Big Year efforts on January 1, the sane count their yard birds, makes personal goals and mainly just have fun.
2023 has begun unseasonably warm (for Maine). No snow on the ground and temperatures in the 50s has led to mud everywhere and an unusual number of rarities hanging out in the State.
We woke up to the New Year with dozens of Pine Siskins swarming our feeders. We see Siskins at our home in Wiscasset, Maine every three or four years when cones in Canada are in short supply and the birds are pushed south looking for food. Sometimes they stay all winter . . . and wreck our bird seed budget.
We also saw a Northern Lapwing, a bird from Europe that somehow managed to get to a McMansion lawn in Kennebunkport. A Maine lifer for Ingrid and me.
Despite the warm weather the usual winter birds like the stunning Harlequin Ducks are here . . .
But so is a Sage Thrasher in Falmouth, Maine (should be in the Mexican desert) …
As is a Townsend’s Solitaire in Wells, Maine (belongs in the Rookie Mountains) . . .
And a Canvasback Duck is swimming at a sewage treatment area in Warren, Maine (from below the Mason Dixon Line) . . .
As for me . . . my three day count of birds is 65 . . . 8 birds ahead of my 2021 Maine Big Year three day stat. No, I’m not doing another Big Year, but its been fun to easily run up the totals
Tomorrow’s weather becomes more seasonal (that would be COLD!!!) and things will get back to normal.