a merlin is a type of falcon

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This morning me and Michael participated in the The 108th Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count, Anacostia Sector of DC. 7am on a Saturday is early for me, but we managed to be the ones who spotted the only merlin (a type of falcon) and hooded mergansers in our sector. Here, Bryan is freezing and we haven't even started:
We were assigned to a portion of Langston Golf Course* from Benning Rd. bridge to about 1 mile upstream on arm of Anacostia River. Just off of the golf course was the evil tree who eats children, from the film 'Poltergeist':
Poltergeist Tree
I think it was the 64th annual count for our region. Sadly, my camera ran out of gas before I could take any more pictures, but there were lots of festive berries to be seen:
Winter Berries
We spent 1 1/2 hours (7:30pm to 9pm), ranging about 1 mile along the length of the golf course adjacent to the Anacostia River. Our count included:

Canada Goose 144
Mallard 38
Hooded Merganser 6
Great Blue Heron 2
Merlin (female, spotted in the air at 8:08am, brown speckled belly, def. smaller than a peregrine falcon and more drab than a kestrel)
Gull, sp. 28
Rock Pigeon 1
Blue Jay 1
Crow, sp. 4
Brown Creeper 1
Ruby-crowned kinglet 1 (female)
American Robin 27
Northern Mockingbird 1
European Starling 12
Song Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal 4

* I learned today that the Langston Golf Course is on the Register of Historic Places due to its history as the home course of the Royal Golf Club and the Wake Robin Golf Club, the nation’s first clubs for Black men and women, respectively. It provides an interesting view of RFK Stadium and the D.C. Armory, in addition to being a great place to spot wildlife and man-eating trees.


Jim (The Canuck One) said:

144 Canada Geese? I'm very sorry - they tend to be very loud and annoying as well as they poop EVERYWHERE.

Unlike Canadians who, well, tend to be very loud and ann...

So anyway, lots of birds seen yes yes.

Thom said:

That dude in the first picture looks either very cold or very frightened.

jimbo said:

I don't advocate for Canada Geese, I just count them. But when you count them you realize very quickly how many there are out there.

Bryan is indeed very cold in that photo, possibly frozen solid. He did not have the lovely down quilted coat that the woman to his left was wearing.

Jim said:

I didn't know the official common name of the "pigeon" had changed from rock dove to rock pigeon. You learn something new every day. I'm so out of the birding loop.

DougT said:

The festive red berries are winterberry holly (Ilex verticillata).

Michael said:

The six hooded mergansers were five males and one female. I'd like to think it was a group of five gay birds out with their fag hag.