Instead of my usual trekking through the neighborhood, this morning I spent about an hour counting birds just in my yard. I was quite pleased to see or hear 20 species including 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets. I first thought I heard the kinglets in the front yard near the street. But there were a few cars driving by and the high-pitched calls these birds make sound very similar to the faint squeals that sometimes come from car brakes. (Listen to these "seee calls" here.) So I followed the sounds and verified that it was the birds and not the cars. I found the kinglets in the trees right over my driveway. Some other birds I saw or heard were a singing Northern Cardinal (singing is unusual this time of year), Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, American Goldfinch, and Bewick's Wren.
One reason I stayed in the yard this morning was that I was out late last night attending the Bleet Up where the Austin Blogger Awards were announced. Many many thanks to the folks who nominated my blog and voted for it in the "Hyperlocal" category. It didn't win, but I'm thrilled that enough people read it to get it nominated. And I was very pleased that the blog got some exposure to the local non-birding community. Talking with a few other local bloggers was also fun. Many thanks to the organizers! Events like this keep me thinking about the goals and purpose behind my blog, which is great!
One more note. Here are some photos I took over Thanksgiving weekend down on the Port Aransas beach. These species are mostly very different from the birds we see here, but I've seen 2 of them in the neighorhood! Anyone have any guesses which ones?