Friday, February 12, 2010

Great Backyard Bird Count and SNOW!

It's snowing!

In my part of Georgia!!

It started around noon and has not slowed even slightly. I know some of you have had more than your fair share of snow lately and are probably a little sick of the stuff. You can't imagine why some silly woman in Georgia would get so excited about this....

But trust me when I say that magnolia trees rarely look like this....

And southern bird baths almost never freeze over like this....

Speaking of birds (how's that for a segue?!)...

Today is also the start of the Great Backyard Bird Count. The snow interfered with our regular plans. Normally we would spend the first day of the GBBC searching for birds at a nearby lake. Two years ago we took the boys and their birding competition teammates there and spotted over 1,000 birds. We wore light-weight clothing and drank cold water.

Today, however, we didn't want to venture too far from home in case "the roads got bad".

Okay, I was going pause for a giggle here. Then I went outside to take this picture...

And there was a wreck right in front of my house.

Seriously. I clicked my camera. Then a car slid out of control and slammed into a light pole.

Not even 10 feet from me.

Everyone was okay, but it just goes to show how it only takes a dusting to create dangerous conditions.

So take it easy out there, Georgia. We're just not equipped for this kind of weather in the Deep South.

Okay, the public service announcement is over, so allow me to get to my story of the day- the real point of this post.

We drove very slowly around our neighborhood and stopped in front of our neighbor's yards where we saw birds. We identified them while inside the car if possible and got out as necessary. Michael kept the car creeping along as the boys and I peeked through the foggy windows as best as we could, using our binoculars to inspect birds on wires, chimneys, bushes, and the ground.

Did you get that mental image?

Think about it for a second.

Four bundled Southerners creeping slowly through the neighborhood, looking all around their neighbor's houses... through binoculars.

Yes, we got a few funny looks.

But thankfully, no one called the police.

We managed to identify 10 different species, including a loggerhead shrike- that's a new one for our list, and it was a fun day that motivated us in the bird watching department. We were getting a little rusty and, dare I say it, apathetic. The long, dreary winter was affecting us I suppose.

Well, since this post has gone in fifty different directions, allow me to summarize...
  • drive carefully
  • if you see strange people scoping out your neighborhood, they are probably bird watchers
  • you can freak out your neighbors join in on the bird watching fun, too
The Great Backyard Bird Count takes place today through Monday. You only have to bird watch for at least 15 minutes to participate, and you don't have to be an expert.

You can also look at pictures of birds from around the country on the GBBC website. We took a little time to look at them today and saw familiar birds searching for food in the snow and western birds perched on cacti.

You don't have to brave the snow or scare your neighbors either. You can watch your feeders from the comfort of your own home.

Visit the Great Backyard Bird Count's site for more details.


argsmommy said...

I love your snow pictures! We haven't had any major snow since January, so I'm jealous. We didn't get out for bird watching today, but plan to do so this weekend.

Mama Hen said...

It looks like that in AL too. I thought we might get some flurries, but I never expected this. We are not doing the official bird watching thing, but it has been fun to watch the birds at the feeders. They are eating a lot right now.

CE Webster said...

Great pictures! Our bird count is not going too well this weekend--we just keep getting snow!

Laura at By the Bushel said...

we had 2" in Louisiana, melted in 2 hours. But it was beautiful!
We're counting too! I saw the add in a better homes & gardens, and then saw everybody who's in 'the know' (like you) making plans. so we're counting!
have a super weekend-

Homeschool Dawn said...

Our GBBC participation was limited this year, but we saw two species that are new to our list- the loggerhead shrike (think I mentioned it in this post) and a lark bunting.

Hope all of you had fun counting!