It so happened that this year's Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) landed on a beautiful weekend here in CT. At one point, temperatures reached over 60F--Bud was in shorts and we had all the windows open. Lovely. And so we went out at least once each day to participate in the GBBC. I had written up a list of birds we were most likely to see and the kids were in charge of the tally marks.
Now I should say that I'm not very good at identifying birds smaller than hawks or owls; in fact, we call them all "tweetie birds." And I definitely can't identify most birdsongs, except the mourning dove and the nasty blue jay. And a woodpecker. We heard more birds than we saw but couldn't count them. So it was definitely a challenge, particularly because most were in flight. I don't even know all the small backyard birds in still photos, much less in motion or at a distance!
Still, we managed to count dozens of house sparrows, 27 Canada geese, a turkey vulture, two woodpeckers, two blue jays, two chickadees, a few mourning dove, and several European starlings. There were two birds we definitely saw but couldn't identify and many more we heard. Not an impressive list--not even the local Monk Parakeets or a nice Red-tail Hawk--but it was a good first try.
And I think I can recognize the song of the house sparrow now.