As I write this, 2012 is ticking away, with just over five hours left for birders to add to their year lists before they begin anew next year.

Compiled by Eamon Corbett

As I write this, 2012 is ticking away, with just over five hours
left for birders to add to their year lists before they begin anew next year. The
five young birders featured in this post certainly made the most of the final
month of 2012, seeing what I consider “typical” winter birds like Bohemian
Waxwings, Red Crossbills, and Short-eared Owls, as well as some less standard
species for the colder months, like shorebirds and Yucatan Poorwills (the
latter obviously far from the snow we have here in New York).

On his blog Birding
Sault Ste. Marie
, David Bell writes about shorebirding
on Lake Ontario,
with a remarkable photo of 4 different shorebirds in the
same frame, a difficult feat in winter in Canada.

Back on December 2 I
joined a group of hardy birders on the annual "Purple Palooza" up at
Presqu'ile Provincial Park, hosted by Doug McRae. The goal of the trip is
mainly to find Purple Sandpipers, which we had success with – along with the
bonus of three other shorebird species! Not something that happens often in the
winter in Ontario!

John Shamgochian, on John’s
Birding Blog
writes about seeing two birds emblematic of this winter’s
birding so far in the Northeast, Red
and White-winged Crossbills

The snapping of cones
being disassembled surrounded us. They had come as an eruption from the North.
They had arrived at East Beach by wing, a bad cone crop was all it had taken to
send the two species wheeling out of control and spilling them across the

Two posts from across the Atlantic caught my eye this month. On Midlands
, Craig Reed describes watching a flock of Waxwings (Bohemian
Waxwings to us American), and presents
some excellent photos
of these spectacular birds eating rowan berries:

With no news having
emerged from Hartlebury trading estate, we decided to bite the bullet and visit
anyway, And it was as we were pulling up to 'Hatts Kitchens' that i quickly
noticed a bird perched on top of the adjoining silver birch, and a scrum of
photographers/ Birders watching a yellow berried Rowan.

And on Bill’s
blog, Bill D. describes an evening watching
Short-eared Owls
hunt at dusk in an urban park by a major highway.

Lens and camera both
safely back in hand, where better place to get back into the swing of things
than the luscious, rolling countryside of Staines, where no fewer
than four Short-eared Owls have been kicking about Staines Moor- real gem of a
urban patch- situated in the shadow of the roaring M25.

And if you can stand the jealousy, be sure to check out
Ethan Kistler’s accounts, part
and part
, of birding on the Yucatan Peninsula on Nomadic Birder. He and a few
other young birders have escaped the cold and are seeing some great birds in
Central America:

Behind our camp, we
heard this odd noise…perhaps a frog or insect. I was creeping around very
slowly in thick vegetation trying to track down the culprit. Just before
turning around and giving up, I noticed two eyes staring at me – Yucatan Poorwill!

Happy New Year from all of us at The Eyrie!