Today I made the decision to begin the Big Year from the comfort of my house, starting the day with hot coffee and food instead of somewhere, wild and wooly, on the road. There might be a Great Horned Owl vocalizing then, but I'm not very optimistic that any genuine nightbird will be the first bird of the year. My prediction is that it will be, as it has been for most of the recent mornings, an American Crow. Very little gets by them, so an alert member of the clan will realize that a new year has dawned and it's time to check out the neighborhood.
The posted image was motivated by the presence of the Bald Eagle on the channel marker in the Lafayette River. I put the camera on the heavy tripod and used the timed shutter release option. Even with poor light it came out okay. In fact, the hazy, foggy, misty look, a staple the last three days, captures the feeling of the day. The platform on which the eagle is sitting is the location of an Osprey nest during the spring and summer of each year we've lived in this house. I'm still seeing an Osprey occasionally these days, but less and less often. I still have over two weeks until the Big Year begins, a time I'll fill with Christmas Bird Counts (7 of them) and looking for one last species for my yard year list.