The eagerly anticipated January duck season was meager in most places, with dry and hot weather combining to keep migratory waterfowl in North Carolina or even further north. Smaller songbirds such as robins, cedar waxwings and goldfinches did hang up in the Lowcountry though, and my observation is that they were perhaps a bit confused about why they did not feel the need to fly further south. I observed my first goldfinch on January 15, first robin on January 27 and first cedar waxwing on January 29. A solid first ever observation came on February 20 when a Fox Sparrow visited the ground underneath my bird feeder, scratching furiously into the ground. The grey cheek markings and the undeniably rusty tail sent me to three different birding books to confirm the sighting! Other sightings at the bird feeder include a red-shouldered hawk, chipping sparrow, tufted titmouse, carolina chickadee, hairy woodpecker, yellow-bellied sapsucker, cardinal, mockingbird, red-bellied woodpecker, white-breasted nuthatch, downy woodpecker, and a blue bird. A male towhee was observed on February 25 for the first time this spring, and he is surely the ambassador for the cavalcade of neotropical migratory songbirds that make spring birding the Super Bowl of birding in the Lowcountry Outdoors!! With all the early signs of spring, I am fairly surprised that the first hummingbird observation has not been recorded, but rest assured it is time to put out the nectar feeders that the hummers love to visit.
Red-bellied woodpecker at suet station
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