Today I participated in the Buffalo Ornithological Society (BOS) Count were I cover the lower half of section 24 (Allegany State Park – go figure). The BOS conducts three annual bird counts during the months of April, May, and October. The count dates are targeted to periods of significant bird migration and have been ongoing since 1935. Normally I locate around 50 species during the April count but rarely have to deal with a nor easter storm that just arrived. We woke up to snow on the ground and quickly the weather turned into mixed rain/snow. By noon it was entirely rain coming down and it wasn’t an easy day to be out birding. I worked hard and only able to come up with 40 species (see list below). Adding birds that I did see yesterday (and not today) I could have easily been over 50 but blame the low numbers due to this storm. Typically the April BOS count gives me an opportunity to locate Blue-headed Vireo, Barn Swallow, Louisiana Waterthrush, Broadwing Hawk, and 3-4 species of Butterflies (not this year). I did have some species of waterfowl that normally have moved through the area already.
|Common Loon – 9||Ring-billed Gull – 6|
|Pied-billed Grebe – 2||Belted Kingfisher – 1|
|Horned Grebe – 8||Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – 1|
|Double-crested Cormorant – 19||Northern Flicker – 31|
|Great Blue Heron – 2||Blue Jay – 2|
|Canada Goose – 44||American Crow – 36|
|Wood Duck – 19||Common Raven – 2|
|Mallard – 8||Tree Swallow – 30|
|Green-winged Teal – 2||Black-capped Chickadee – 6|
|Ring-necked Duck – 42||Brown Creeper – 1|
|Lesser Scaup – 2||Ruby-crowned Kinglet – 3|
|Long-tailed Duck – 5||Eastern Bluebird – 1|
|Bufflehead – 7||American Robin – 163|
|Hooded Merganser – 26||European Starling – 22|
|Common Merganser – 38||Field Sparrow – 3|
|Osprey – 7||Song Sparrow – 9|
|Bald Eagle – 1||Dark-eyed Junco – 4|
|Red-tailed Hawk – 1||Red-winged Blackbird – 4|
|Ruffed Grouse – 1||Common Grackle – 25|
|Bonaparte’s Gull – 3||American Goldfinch – 15|
I started the morning off along Red House Lake with a Common Loon and Horned Grebe that was very cooperative (being photographed). My spotting scope kept getting all fogged up from the weather and making it hard to pick out the Long-tailed Ducks from Mergansers. These activities continued for most of the rest of the day although did locate my first Field Sparrow for 2007 (CHECK). I am choosing not to type a zillion pages with this post so that I have some time to catch up on everyone’s blog and flickr photostream tonight. Was a somewhat boring day to be honest!! I will let the looks of this Red-tailed Hawk tell the whole story.
The birds here looked just as wet and unhappy. That grouse is so cool!
15 April 2007 at 10:19 pm
Thank goodness you had a memory card in for the grouse shot. I love the feather details that are so visible.
And the rain drops on the tree with your bedraggled red-tail. Wow.
15 April 2007 at 10:46 pm
Wet and bedraggled kind of day, huh? Good effort though!
16 April 2007 at 12:08 am
The poor hawk, he looks frozen. I hope you were able to stay warm.
16 April 2007 at 12:14 am
Great photos – beautiful loon, but sad wet, day. I just hope the birds are not affected too much.
16 April 2007 at 1:13 am
I cannot complain about the rain and cold today after reading this post and seeing these pictures. Your list is impressive in spite of the weather.
16 April 2007 at 6:44 am
What a list! Love the hawk photo.
16 April 2007 at 6:49 am
Always tough birding in the rain. Great to see 7 Osprey – wow! It looks like the weather was just what the robins wanted with 163 of them to keep yo company.
On a brighter note, it was clear blue skies and in the 50’s here in Illinois yesterday 🙂
16 April 2007 at 7:07 am
Mon@rch, when you think you didn’t have a good day, just consider this. Our of the 40 birds you listed above, I have only seen 18 of them in my life. Sure, I’m new at this but you are the master!
Great photos, especially of the red-tailed bird-sickle. Stay warm!
16 April 2007 at 9:09 am
Oooh I LOVE the RT hawk photo! He looks a bit miserable though.
16 April 2007 at 5:34 pm
Looks like a miserable day, but a lot of great species. Some nice pictures, too.
16 April 2007 at 7:38 pm
Great Photos!-I know how you feel-Once in a while you have a birding day when you just don’t feel inspired.
16 April 2007 at 8:21 pm
@ Laura – Thats how I felt! LOL
@ KGMom – I didn’t forget my memory card this time! Still bumbed I didn’t get those meadowlark shots!
@ Liz – thanks
@ Barb – My truck was warm! LOL, but most birds looked that wet! probably still that way!
@ Nature – Those most in trouble probably were hit hard last weeks snow storm! They don’t seem to be taking it that hard!
@ Ruth – I can’t wait for the weather to get better!
@ Jayne – Thanks – hawk wasn’t having a good day for sure!
@ Matt – We probably have over 15 nesting pairs of osprey in the area! Could have been better!
@ Mary – you should see the numbers I find in the summer!
@ Lynne – He does look miserable doesn’t he!
@ Larry – thanks and this was one of them! But, was happy with the loon and grebe shot!
16 April 2007 at 9:35 pm
Great shots and a fine list! Shame about the weather, though!
17 April 2007 at 12:46 pm