Arctic Blast Black Dirt Birding, 02/04/23

I love these cold, crisp, sunny days. Especially after a long work week with absolutely no birding – it just feels good to be out and about. This morning it was cold enough for me to stick primarily to car birding, so I drove around the black dirt. I made an effort to explore some areas that are a bit off my personal beaten path; it gave me a little bit of sense of exploration even though I was close to home. It was an enjoyable morning with pretty much the usuals. There is still a large flock of Snow Geese in the area – these days they are on the south end of the black dirt, close to the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge. I found several flocks of Horned Larks but no flocks of Snow Buntings. Sifting through the larks, I was able to find a couple of Lapland Longspurs and a couple of Snow Buntings.

~Horned Lark in the black dirt, 02/04/23.~

I also had several large flocks of blackbirds. These flocks were probably 99% Common Grackles, with just a smattering of Red-winged Blackbirds, Brown-headed Cowbirds, and European Starlings among them. At one point I caught a flash of white in a flying flock – my immediate thought was Yellow-headed Blackbird. I eventually relocated the bird and it was a Common Grackle with several white tail feathers and white at the back of the head. It was a cool looking bird, and it got my heart racing for a minute. Unfortunately the bird did not cooperate for any decent photos.

~Common Grackles galore. Black dirt, 02/04/23.~
~There were 3 Red-tailed Hawks in this tree, and a fourth in another evergreen right next to it. Black dirt region 02/04/23.~
~More Common Grackles in the black dirt, 02/04/23.~

5 thoughts on “Arctic Blast Black Dirt Birding, 02/04/23”

  1. Great pics! Been diggin’ your photos.

    (Had to laugh at “cold, crisp, sunny days,” though, as here on the coast of Maine, it was definitely all those things—if “cold” means a high temperature of about 7° today, with some pretty stout winds (and few birds).)

    1. Thanks so much Brian. It was actually pretty darn cold here today; when I started this morning it was -1 degree Fahrenheit. I think it eventually warmed up to the mid teens this afternoon. With the wind, it kept me in the car for the most part. Matt

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