Happy New Year all. No real plans to run out for a Jan 1st Big Day (1 Jan.'18), just taking care of a few cores we hadn't gotten to yet around the house. But, not long into the day, we had a STELLAR'S JAY show up at our feeders (Hayden, ID) which was a first in months, followed shortly by the pair (2) of BLUE JAYs which we hadn't seen since Thanksgiving!! Great start considering our pack (~10-15) of COMMON REDPOLLs were amongst the first birds I noticed this morning, and a bit later in the morning "Fat Eddie Jr.", our continuing immature male ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD made a brief showing, so a great way to start the year as well as our annual yard list.
Our daughter is home recuperating from knee surgery and suffering a little cabin fever, so I suggested taking a drive down to Lake Coeur d'Alene (Kootenai Co., ID) to see a few BALD EAGLEs...plus Dad could sneak in a little gull watching as well. We headed out to Wolf Lodge Bay, then circled around to Blue Creek Bay then on to Higgin's Point and Bennett Bay. Still quite a few eagles around plucking off the last of the spawning Kokanee, but unfortunately I wasn't able to get the gull fix I was hoping for in that there were literally only three (3) individual gulls on the entire eastern end of the lake, all at Wolf Lodge! The only saving grace is that of the three gulls, there were three (3) species including an adult MEW GULL which has been hanging out at Wolf Lodge (usually where the creek enters the bay) for awhile now. The only other bird of note was a female RED-BREASTED MERGANSER in with a decent size group of COMMONs at Bennett Bay. If you'd like directions to these specific spots on the northeastern part of the lake, please let me know separately.
So while not a Big Day per se, added a few good ones to start off our annual Kootenai County Year List. Hope you were able to get out a bit to start off your 2018.
Happy New Year,Doug
1 January 2018 Loch Haven, Hayden, Kootenai Co., ID