It was quite cold with a skiff of snow on our lawn when I set out today. As usual, I glanced at the large tree at 19th and Eastman and was rewarded with a Merlin as bird #4. Things were quiet at Esther Simplot Park, but I was able to find Gadwalls, A. Wigeons, and C. Mergansers. But Veterans Pond produced L. Scaup, RN Ducks, a ton of C. Mergansers, and a PB Grebe. That made my total 20.
My second raptor of the day was a GH Owl that has a well-disguised hangout that I happened to find one day (going slow on a bike has its benefits). Then I found a little "cloud" of BC Chickadees, Brown Creepers, RC Kinglets and RB Nuthatches. By now I was over 30 birds and cautiously optimistic.
My optimism was rewarded at Les Bois track with a pair of RT Hawks, and the pond had more RN Ducks than I've seen there in some time, plus Buffleheads (and hordes of C. Geese of course).
As I headed back to the river from Remington St., I saw a large bird flying upriver and got binos on him quickly enough to identify a Bald Eagle-always a treat. The ride home along the river produced a small flock of C. Goldeneye, a Cooper's Hawk, and an A. Kestrel (six raptors is a great day!). Other birds of note were a foraging Bewick's Wren and a calling Pacific Wren, plus several GB Herons.
My final tally was 42 birds in 11 miles. Not bad for an old fart.