The house Sparrows (our favourite birds) have not been to the garden for months but they arrived today for a new year … not quite the first species on the year list, that was a Crow, but very welcome.

A couple of days ago I decided to see how many birds I could see today (NYD) under Bigby “rules” … well, despite the somewhat chilly weather the day’s total came out to a very satisfactory 18 species of which an gratifying 15 were seen in our garden.  You can’t get much greener than that.  The last three species took a long and very bone-chilling walk which was both invigorating and doubtless good for the heart and the waistline.

The 18 NYD-carbon-neutral birds were:  American Crow (first bird of the year), Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers, Goldfinch, Mourning Dove, Cardinal, Chickadee, Pine Siskins, Euro-Starling, House Finch, House Sparrow (very welcome – getting scarce around here), American Robins, DE Junco, Common Redpoll, White-breasted Nuthatch, Rock pigeon, Blue Jay and a solitary American Black Duck dabbling in the open water below the bridge at St-Anne-de-Bellevue where there was obviously enough weed etc to attract it.  Looking back at previous years of NYD birding, which have involved the internal combustion engine, this has actually turned out to be a personal best for the day around here – a surprise but I guess the birding gods are in a good mood.

This was a lot of fun – anyone else been counting today?