|Killdeer and Great Blue Heron in Snow Watercolor by Ken Januski|
The start of the Great Backyard Bird Count tomorrow coalesced nicely with what I think will be the finished version of the Killdeer and Great Blue Heron watercolor. It was the Great Backyard Bird Count along with Audubon Christmas Counts and Keith Russell and DVOC's Philadelphia Mid-winter Bird Census that first got us in the habit of winter birding.
Obviously I didn't see this scene or anything like it on the GBCC since I saw it a few weeks before the start date. But it illustrates the type of surprise that can await any one who birds in winter. Much, if not most, of the count I think takes place closer to home, often in backyards. But I always use it as an opportunity to see what is around the more extended neighborhood. It's also a great antidote to cabin fever, something that some people seem to experience by this time in February.