Last week’s Great Backyard Bird Count project got me thinking about long-term counts around the neighborhood. What species come and go over the course of a year? Which are the year-round residents in our neighborhood?

I know that the ducks like this lesser scaup only come to the pond in the winter.

But what of the others? On Saturday, while walking along the trail down to the pond and onward to the creek, I decided to try to take a weekly count of birds and other wildlife I happen to see. If I can maintain this for a year, perhaps I’ll really know my local wildlife. Who knows, maybe they’ll start inviting me to their nests for insects and seed.

Red-shouldered Hawk

The two red-shouldered hawks that circled and swooped over the pond were by far the highlight of Saturday’s walk. One of them even came close enough to let me take this fairly decent picture.

Farther down the trail, I heard a faint tapping up in a tree. I saw two ladder-backed woodpeckers, male and female. The male is the one with the red cap. The female’s is black.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Along the way, I heard great symphonies of bird song, but only saw these:

  • 1 Lesser scaup
  • 2 Red-shouldered hawks
  • 4 Blue Jays
  • 1 Turkey vulture
  • 4 Black vultures
  • 2 Ladder-backed woodpeckers
  • 1 American crow
  • 1 Killdeer
  • 2 Bewick’s wrens
  • 2 Chipping sparrows
  • 4 House sparrows

Other than birds, the only animals I saw were dozens of turtles on the pond including a few that decided to pile up and sun themselves.