Saturday, February 15, 2014

GBBC 2014 - Day 1

Wood Ducks on Schuylkill River. Watercolor Sketch by Ken Januski.

After posting to this blog yesterday Jerene and I bundled up and walked, with some difficulty due to the deep snow, down the hill from our house to the Manayunk Canal and Schuylkill River, along them for a mile or so, then back up the hill. Though we only saw about 15 birds they included some unusual ones: the first Common Goldeneyes we've ever seen in this area, two Wood Ducks, which are surprising to see at this time of year, and at least 265 American Robins.

As usual I'm thankful to the Great Backyard Bird Count for spurring us on to birding in worse weather than we might otherwise head into. Today it's more rain, sleet and snow. Fortunately 21 Snow Geese flew over the backyard while Jerene was out filling the bird feeders so we're off to a good start. Hopefully we'll at least take a brief walk to see what else is around.

Last year I posted a small and quick watercolor sketch illustrating, in one fashion or another, each day of the GBBC. I'm going to try to do the same this year. Above is a small watercolor on Stillman and Birn Delta paper done in about 30 minutes. I took no photos yesterday and only did some bad sketches of the Common Goldeneye so this is based on some of my older photos that show the ducks in a somewhat similar view.

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