New Year – New Challenge

I sure do love starting a new challenge.
The hardest part, if you have read my blog, or ever talked to me, is finishing them. But, I love starting fresh… So… here we go again!

Oh, that fresh feeling of zeroing out the year. Everything counts, everything matters.

This year my goal is to see as many birds as possible, by bike, in the 5 miles radius around my house. It is great to start from zero: the first crow, the first song sparrow, they all matter. My first bird of the day was an Anna’s hummingbird, sipping some sweet sweet sugar water outside of my window.

New Year, new bike, new satchel full of bird seed.

January 1st was a frosty one. I went to the Dharma Rain Zen Center in an effort to locate my Eastern bluebirds. I failed, but I was able to see a Merlin, a couple Yellow-rumped warblers, and some cackling geese fly in to this non-frozen seasonal puddle.

Tough urban geese hiding in the tall grass

I ran out of time here and had to rush off to work. The hour after I left someone found my bluebirds, so it is good to know that they were just hiding from me…

On my way to work I stopped to take some quick photos of gulls at my local gull wad that I would be able to sort out later in the comfort of my home.

Good looking ring-bill stood out.

I picked up most of the gulls I will probably see this year, all in one stop. Ring-billed, Herring, Glaucus-winged, Western, Icelandic. 5 Gulls for the day, and in my time bird watching in Multnomah County I have only ever seen 10 species.

Gull goal: tie that lofty number of 10 gull species in a year. #yeargulls

Herring Gull, you can tell by its mean look, light eye, and sloped forehead.

Pizza work was calling. Had to be there in order to help people achieve their resolutions of eating pizza every day. No leftovers… and it was slow. I ducked out a bit early, and tried for the Eastern Bluebird again.

Very menacing little Golden-crowned Sparrow

You can tell by the lack of blue/orange that this is not a bluebird. I missed them again. But, the good news is someone else saw them the hour before I got there. I was just the bookend of bluebird failure that the zen center needed today.

Regardless of my bird misses. I saw 29 species in my 5mr, rode my bike 9 miles (half of it in freezing fog), and got a couple of good photos. Happy with the start of my year.

If you are interested in doing a 5-mile radius challenge around your house, I urge you to join us in our facebook 5mr group.

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