Looking for something to shoot? Find challenges and assignments here.
Well ... I'm starting this challenge a couple of days early, because I'll be out on Monday. lol. Here's to seeing who posts the first bird of the year! The last couple of years it's been the Townsend's Solitaire or the Pygmy Nuthatch. Will see which bird gets the honor this year!

I'm setting our goal this year for 250 birds! We can do this! Good luck and have fun everyone!
Ok, well I guess the first bird will be the Townsend's Solitaire again. This bird (or his/her cousin/brother/sister) has been hanging out around our house for the last 6 years. There's a large juniper bush on the hillside behind us that always has berries. He/She loves them!

The other birds that also love them are these Bohemian Waxwings. Such beautiful creatures!

Although the summer/mating color of these Goldfinches is glorious, I still like the Winter variation too ...

Finally, we have this Covey of Quail that have been hanging around all fall and winter ... there's about 50+ birds floating around the backyard ... here's a shot through my office window.

I'll post a better image of the Quail and Goldfinches later ... just wanted to get our year jumpstarted! :mrgreen:

I find it hard to say this year, with so much misery going on in different parts of the world these days, but Happy 2024 everyone. Lets hope the new year sees a break out of peace.

Nice opening shots James. Here is my opening contribution. The bad news its a very poor image, which required some post-processing, and aggressive cropping to turn it from a long distance over dark photo to what you see. The good news is, its a bird that I don't think made our 2023 list.

ImagePinyon Jay by R Varga, on Flickr

I stood around for about 3 and a half hours, getting colder as time went by, along with about 20 other birders, in a quiet neighborhood in West Vancouver, waiting for a sighting. It finally happened, but was very very long distance, and it was very dull lighting against an cloud covered background. Very tough photographic conditions but glad to get this first time bird.
It was relatively bright out yesterday morning along the south arm of the Fraser River and managed to get a few of the common locals:

ImageThayers Gull02 Jan01_2024 by GMcD2008, on Flickr

Thayers Gull

ImageRing Billed Gulls02 Jan01_2024 by GMcD2008, on Flickr

Ring Billed Gulls

ImageCoopers Hawk03 Jan01_2024 by GMcD2008, on Flickr

Juvenile Coopers Hawk

ImageNorthern Shoveler04 Jan01_2024 by GMcD2008, on Flickr

Northern Shovelers

ImageNorthern Pintail02 Jan01_2024 by GMcD2008, on Flickr

Northern Pintail

ImageGW Teal Snipe01 Jan01_2024 by GMcD2008, on Flickr

A Two-fer - A Wilson's Snipe and a Green Winged Teal in the marsh beside London's Landing Pier

ImageDouble Crested Cormorant01 Jan01_2024 by GMcD2008, on Flickr

A Double Crested Cormorant on a mission

ImageCommon Mergansers01 Jan01_2024 by GMcD2008, on Flickr

A flock of Common Mergansers foraging along Steveston Channel
Some bright periods again this morning (January 3rd.) and I took a walk along the river to London Heritage Farm to see if I could find a few more of the local birds to add to the new 2024 list. Mission successful - it was a target rich environment. I'll start with some additional ducks - Gadwalls, American Widgeons, and Mallards:

ImageMallard04 Jan03_2024 by GMcD2008, on Flickr

ImageMallard pair01 Jan03_2024 by GMcD2008, on Flickr

ImageGadwall pair01 Jan03_2024 by GMcD2008, on Flickr

ImageAmerican Widgeon02 Jan03_2024 by GMcD2008, on Flickr
A couple of Wrens to add to the 2024 challenge - a Bewick's Wren and a Pacific Wren. Both spotted at the London Heritage Farm in the back near the community gardens area on the west side of the farm. Why do Pacific Wrens always like to be in the deepest darkest areas....tough little guys to get a decent photo of, that's for sure.

ImagePacific Wren04 Jan03_2024 by GMcD2008, on Flickr

ImageBewicks Wren03 Jan03_2024 by GMcD2008, on Flickr
A couple of geese examples to get on the 2024 list: There is a flock of Cackling Geese in our neighborhood as well as the unruly mob of Canada Geese that hang out along the Gilbert Beach area. The Cackling Geese are an in-flight shot but they are distinctive by their short necks and the interesting "cackling" sounds they make as they fly past.

ImageCanada Goose05 Jan03_2024 by GMcD2008, on Flickr

ImageCackling Geese02 Jan03_2024 by GMcD2008, on Flickr
And some other forest birds spotted in the London Farm west gardens area:
Hutton's Vireo, Chickadee, Fox Sparrow, Dark Eyed Junco, and a VERY early Orange Crowned Warbler:

ImageOrange Crowned Warbler08 Jan03_2024 by GMcD2008, on Flickr

ImageHuttons Vireo02 Jan03_2024 by GMcD2008, on Flickr

ImageFox Sparrow02 Jan03_2024 by GMcD2008, on Flickr

ImageChickadee04 Jan03_2024 by GMcD2008, on Flickr

ImageJunco02 Jan03_2024 by GMcD2008, on Flickr
lol. Way to go GMcD! (Not sure what your name is ... haha) You're going to make me have to get the "birds already seen" list going sooner rather than later. Those are some lovely photos!
Another surprise sunny break earlier today - the Iphone weather app and Environment Canada are hit or miss during the winter anyway - luckily I can look out my window and the river is a 5 minute walk away so I can get out there on short notice.

Small update today, January 4, 2024:

Hooded Mergansers and Red Breasted Mergansers near the London's Landing pier this afternoon.

ImageHooded Merganser pair01 Jan04_2024 by GMcD2008, on Flickr

ImageRed Breasted Merganser04 Jan04_2024 by GMcD2008, on Flickr
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