The start of the Audubon Christmas Bird Count season is Saturday, December 14. Hamilton will have their count that day, starting about 7:30 a.m. at the Teller Refuge north of Corvallis. From there, they'll cover an area around Hamilton. Stevensville's count will be December 28, starting at the Stevensville Ranger Station on North Main Street in Stevi. Bob Danley on KLYQ's Bitterroot Outdoor Journal noted some birds you may see on the counts - the Red Crossbill (pictured above) and the Waxwings (though the Mountain Ash berries are not attracting many of the Waxwings yet). You may also see a Townsend Solitaire on a Juniper, eating the berries.

Bob listed a few great books for Christmas gift-giving. These are recently published - "Season on the Wind: Inside the World of Spring Migration," "How to Know the Birds: The Art and Adventure of Birding," "National Wildlife Federation: Attracting Birds, Butterflies and Other Backyard Wildlife," "Damselflies: A Natural History," "Mushrooms of the Northwest: A Simple Guide to Common Mushrooms," and "Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest: Your Way to Easily Identify Wildflowers." And for folks who want to take photos but only have a cellphone - "Smart Phone Smart Photography: Simple techniques for taking incredible pictures with iPhone and Android." The Bitterroot Outdoor Journal is heard Wednesday mornings during the 7:30 a.m. Bitterroot Morning newscast on KLYQ and Check Bob's website.

Two views of Waxwings. (Bob Danley Photos)