I have to admit, I’m a little jealous of the good people of Boston. I know that snow causes traffic wrecks, depression, and myriad other evils (hey, I’m from Buffalo) but within me, a cruel and seductive logic whispers that I’m not going to see my Common Redpoll unless there’s at least an inch of fluffy white on the ground, plump flakes are drifting out of the sky, and all the tree branches are coated like they’re posing for a Christmas card.

And that could be true, for all I know, because I sure didn’t see any Redpolls today, nor Pine Grosbeaks, nor yet any Bohemian Waxwings. I found a promising flock feeding in a hawthorn tree – mostly American Robins, with a handful of House Finches – but alas, it concealed no boreal tag-alongs. It did draw the attention of a Cooper’s Hawk, who made a nice low obliging fly-over and sent the Robins coursing away in a panic.

With the Cooper’s Hawk, along with an assortment of usual but new-for-the-year winter ducks on the reservoir (hightlighted by a Hooded Merganser who had pulled up onto the shore with a flock of Mallards for one of those super-close, leisurely looks that I only get when I haven’t got a camera) my 2008 list stands so far at 38, 31 of which count for my BGBY. This means that I’m doing better than I was this time in 2007 (21), but am still lagging badly behind my January 2006 species count (52, which to be fair included 24 species from a Brooklyn Bird Club trip to Westchester.) Hopefully, buying a new bike this weekend will help kick-start things a little bit.

White-throated Sparrow Zonotrichia albicollis
Blue Jay Cyanocitta cristata
Tufted Titmouse Baeolophus bicolor
White-breasted Nuthatch Sitta carolinensis
House Sparrow Passer domesticus
Canada Goose Branta canadensis
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis
Bufflehead Bucephela albeola
American Black Duck Anas rubripes
Rock Pigeon Columba livia
Hooded Merganser Lophodytes cucullatus
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus
American Coot Fulica atra
Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
Black-capped Chickadee Poecile atricapillus
European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
American Robin Turdus migratorius
House Finch Carpodacus mexicanus
Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura
Cooper’s Hawk Accipiter cooperii
Common Grackle Quiscalus quiscula

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