County Big Year Goals – February

January was a good birding month for me in Washington County.  I missed by monthly goal of 35 by one but also picked up several birds I didn’t expect: a Bald Eagle and a Barred Owl, and saw my nemesis bird, the Northern Shrike, for the first time.  I now see one at least weekly but we knew that would happen. I got two new life birds, the aforementioned shrike and a Barrow’s Goldeneye (over in Chittenden County.)  In spite of my whining about missing Texas birds, it was a good winter birding month.

The best January bird was this handsome Bald Eagle along the Dog River just south of Montpelier.  Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Settings: 1/160 ƒ/6.5 ISO 640  215 mm

The best January bird was this handsome Bald Eagle along the Dog River just south of Montpelier. Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Settings: 1/160 ƒ/6.5 ISO 640 215 mm

Looking over the birds I missed in January, I’m only concerned about one — Pine Grosbeak —  because if I don’t get them now they may not  be here in November or December this year. I have reviewed historic eBird sightings in Washington County for February and frankly, there aren’t a lot to add to my missing list.  Things will heat up a bit in March as early migrants return.

Here’s the list of birds I am targeting for February:

Cooper’s Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Great Black-backed Gull  (a little iffy but seen at Grow Compost)

Golden-crowned Kinglet (I know they are here but hard to spot, or hear)

Cedar Waxwing

Song Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Pine Grosbeak

Purple Finch

Pine Siskin

House Sparrow (I’ve been walking around parking garages and strip malls with no luck)

Red-winged Blackbird (Perhaps an early returnee)

Common Grackle  (Perhaps an early returnee)

Brown-headed Cowbird  (Perhaps an early returnee)

While I know I won’t get all of these, I may pick up something I hadn’t counted on so my modest February goal is 14 more for a total of 48.  Stay tuned.

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