Pressed for time this morning, I did a point count while working on some writing on my back porch. European Starlings and House Sparrows are the most conspicuous birds in my tiny urban backyard. But a Northern Cardinal and Song Sparrow were singing back in the alleyway, and an American Robin hopped onto the ground near my compost bin.
Within a few minutes, I could hear a distant flock of Canada Goose, and a calling Mourning Dove down the block. Then a Tufted Titmouse started singing. An American Crow flew over, then another. A flock of House Finches landed in a neighbor's tree, and I heard a few chips of a Dark-eyed Junco at the base of a large tree in the alleyway.
A pair of Carolina Chickadees worked its way down the block, checking out the entry to the cross-pipe of my neighbor's clothes line pole. Scanning the horizon, a distant Great Blue Heron was flying downstream along Perkiomen Creek, and a pair of Mallards flew past. A White-breasted Nuthatch started calling from the trees down the block, and far off towards the creek, I could just make out the song of a Carolina Wren.
Scanning the skies, a Cooper's Hawk was circling over the creek. Then another bird, larger chested, with quick and heavier wingbeats, bull-neck, and more pointed wings caught my attention as it powered through--a Peregrine Falcon, the first I've seen from my house, and a new BIGBY bird for the year. Three Ring-billed Gulls also flew over.
Finally, as I needed to get back inside, a Blue Jay started calling back by the creek. That made 20 species in just under half an hour of sitting on my porch. Not a bad way to get your Bird RDA, and to start the day.