Every year I say I won't wait until the last minute to run my breeding bird surveys and it seems every year, I do it. I had to have the Beaver Creek survey done by the 30th. That left today as the only non-workday to get it done.
My husband got up to go with me (early mornings are not his favorite time of day.) When I went out, I knew it was going to be absolutely miserable--already in the low 80's, very humid, and no breeze. Thankfully, Mother Nature helped us out. By the time we got out to the starting point at 5:45 AM, a weak cool front was coming through. It dropped the temperature down to 81 and kept it there the entire survey, stirred up a breeze, provided a couple of short, light showers and most importantly, got rid of a lot of the oppressive humidity. It's getting hot again this afternoon, but the survey was pleasant enough.
We saw a great horned owl early and later, the best siting of the day was a flock of orchard orioles. I have never seen a group of 7 at once before, but there they were. I was excited.
We didn't see any unusual birds, nor much other wildlife (except wild pigs and far off in the distance at one stop, some calling coyotes.)
After the end of the route, saw a couple of Swainson's hawks, a kestrel and turkey vultures (which were NOT seen during the survey.)
All in all, a great morning of birding. And happy 29th anniversary to my husband.