FAQ: How was the bird count? Answer: surprisingly good.
The weather was challenging at times, among the worst since we started in 2005, but the participants reported that it was fun.
There were 9 teams with a total of 39 people out in the field searching.
We had 51 bird species and 3998 birds. Total birds were down significantly this year (last 2 years over 5000 birds) but the number of species is in range of recent years.
Fortunately, many teams had made prior arrangements, so that homeowners with feeders kept a list of their sightings for us, so we could add those birds. At times the visibility was very poor -rain and snow, so we really depended on those lists.
At one home we saw 2 Pileated Woodpeckers at one time, and at another home there were 4 Cardinals at one time. At that home, 2 Ravens came in to feed on fresh meat brought out from the freezer, while we watched. Until recently Ravens were rare this far south, except at dumps. These ravens nested nearby last summer.
2 Bald Eagles matches our high count from our records. One of them was seen harassing the gulls at the waterfront in Hawkestone, for a few minutes. The Bald Eagle was attempting to take their fish away from them. It was unclear whether the eagle was successful.
The first Red-bellied Woodpecker recorded on our counts was in 1 in 2006, then no more until 2009, but regularly since then. They have been expanding their range northwards. This year we saw 6 but a high record had been 10.
Interesting findings were one shrike, 2 Kingfishers, only two hawks (1 Cooper’s and One Sharp-shinned). Unfortunately, no snow buntings were seen although it was perfect Snow Bunting weather
5 Iceland Gulls was the only new high for this year.
One group saw a juvenile Herring Gull at the dump Saturday with a band: Left leg, white, black lettering, 5P4. It was reported to the North American Bird Banding Program and they were thanked for this information.
Our tally records were reported to Birds Canada, to join the other records reported by Christmas Bird Counters across the country
We wonder what birds we will see next year, and what weather we will face.
|Red-bellied Woodpecker||Trumpeter Swan and Mallards|
|Goldeneye||Red- breasted Nuthatch|
|The Potluck||The tally|
|Denis moderated the tally|
|Photos are thanks to Marilyn Clark and Cathy Bernatavicious|