Probably, lack of contact with like-minded individuals had a lot to do with it, which is why I've really enjoyed being part of the garden blogging community.
Anyway, this year I was able to participate for the first time. I had some misgivings that I might be misidentifying some birds, or not count accurately, or miss some, because I'm certainly not what you'd consider an expert. But the Great Backyard Bird Count website seems to keep everything low key and has simple instructions for the first time participant. You even indicate your level of expertise and if you are reporting all, or only some of the birds you see as you submit your count.
Here are some photos of the birds that I took this morning.
I used to get American Goldfinches at my previous house, but this is the first time we've seen them here. We didn't get any at all last year. Now they've arrived en masse. They may eat me out of house and home!
I found out today that a group of Chipping Sparrows is called a tournament of sparrows. Perhaps this group are watching the jousting?
In addition to the finches and sparrows, I also counted over 20 Mourning Doves, 4 Northern Cardinals, 2 Blue Jays, 2 American Crows and 1 Carolina Chickadee.
I really enjoyed my first Great Backyard Bird Count. I may even do some more counting tomorrow when we go out to Hockley to see the horses. We can stop by Kleb Woods on the way back!
Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.