Chirps and Cheeps

A Photo Journal of My Birding Experiences & Observations

My birding blog site


  First of Year Birds

Published: January 02, 2019
Tags: General Observations, snowy owl, northern mockingbird, great blue heron, great black-backed gull

Compromised by a wrenched back, I was limited in my usual first-of-the-year approach to birding. I couldn't straighten up all the way, so I took some Ibuprofen and ended up looking for birds mostly by car.  Where there's a will, there's a way!

On New Year's Day, I drove around Wyoming County, a county I've neglected the past few years.  It neighbors Erie County and it's a short drive for me to get to.  I find it a little more rural and, therefore, a little more pleasant than some of the crowded, nearby spots I frequent.  BUT - it's a hike to get anywhere that has anything other than farm fields for habitat!  Nonetheless, it's always pleasant driving and every now and then, there's something fun to see.

On January second, I poked around the Buffalo waterfront.  It was with painful and a clumsy effort that I managed to use my spotting scope in two locations, so after that, I kept mostly to just driving around again.  It was very nice to get out and see some waterfowl, three Snowy Owls, and my buddy, the crossed-billed Northern Mockingbird.  I was happy to see "Bill" and learn that he's still surviving, despite his aberration.

Happy New Year and I wish you all a safe, warm, and pleasant 2019!

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This Snowy Owl was seen on the first in a farm field in Wyoming County. I had 3 others on the Buffalo Waterfront the next day.

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Here's my buddy I call "Bill" due to his crossed bill. This guy, although sporting an abberrant bill, seems to get along just fine. This is now the third season I've seen him.

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Another Northern Mockingbird, keeping in Bill's company.

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Apparently, the unfrozen water is giving this young Great Blue Heron opportunity to find food still. I imagine that will change soon!

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An immature Great Black-backed Gull along the waterfront. I'm not sure if that's food or debris he's picking at...





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