Friday, February 22, 2008


Bill Hubick found two female COMMON REDPOLLS this winter afternoon at Fort Smallwood Park in Northern Anne Arundel County. It was a County Bird for me. No, wait... make that a LIFE BIRD. Emery, Declan and I hoped in our car (the one with the bigger tires) and drove up to see this very rare winter visitor.

We arrived at the Fort around 5 o'clock, just before the lights were about to go out. Leo Weigant had his scope pointed right at one of the birds. Thank you Leo! Ranger Matt Grey was there as well, taking in the views of this red-headed guest from the boreal forest. There, in the company of a SONG SPARROW and a few DARK EYED JUNCOS, were the stars of the afternoon: TWO COMMON REDPOLLS. (For the record, I only really saw one. But it was getting dark and I was rushing to get these really blurry photographs!)I spent the better part of today checking out the JUNCO flocks that were continually visiting my back yard. As far as I could tell, there were no REDPOLLS in West Annapolis today. But, I certainly hoped that last night's wintery mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain might have pushed a few of these Northern birds into our area. Thanks to Bill Hubick's vigilant watch and Tom Tasselmyer's forecast, that little wish came true.Tomorrow? Who knows. By the time my morning coffee has brewed, West Annapolis might be crawling with COMMON REDPOLLS.In the meantime, I do hope that you have thoroughly enjoyed my terrible photographs of this particular REDPOLL. There is no need to adjust your computer screens, Bill will be posting some far more 'focused' shots on his website soon.Have a great weekend,


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