Sunday, May 10, 2015

Birds, Prints, Snow (??).... must be Spring!

Yesterday was the first Global Big Day, a birding event sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Birders all over the world submitted their day's sightings to the eBird online database which, if you're not familiar with it, is a great way to keep track of your birding checklists and contribute to the scientific record at the same time. I just checked the status page, and as of this morning 8,886 people from 108 countries had submitted 25,254 checklists, featuring 4,751 species. Cool.

You might have noticed that I do a lot of linocuts featuring birds, so I'm sure it's no surprise that I've got birder tendencies. Since I've been using eBird for a long time participating in the Global Big Day was kind of a no-brainer. But rather than just record data from my usual patch I teamed up with an old friend to check out some additional locations.

The day started out lovely enough....

7:00 am. Blue skies and a few clouds.
 8:00 am. Oh, look! A pelican in perfect light! Maybe another lino?
By mid-day we were about an hour up the valley from home and the sky had turned gray and thick with clouds.

 Early afternoon. Loggerhead shrike. Definitely some lino potential here.
By 3:00pm there was no denying that some serious weather was on the way, so we piled back in the truck and headed south.

Some rain, but mostly SNOW. Not sticking yet, but will be soon.
The weather continued through the night, and this morning my neighborhood looked like this:


Snow in May is not unusual here, and during the time it has taken to type this post most of it has already disappeared. It's lovely, in a "seriously-can-we-just-get-back-to-green-please" sort of way.


But cold, wet, and gray days are good for painting little bird linos with cheery and colorful palettes, so that's what I'm up to now. As for birds, we ticked 71 species yesterday... including a few that I don't manage to see every year. Birds, prints, snow. No denying that it's springtime in the Rockies!


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