The Christmas Bird Count
Today I participated in the 58th Saint Bonaventure Christmas Bird Count (108th Audubon). I was happy the count was scheduled for today and not during tomorrows “big snowstorm”. Around 6pm this evening the snow has already started falling and is coming down hard! The temperature for the count was around 20-25F and we had very the cold blowing winds!!
My day started by turning back home for my binoculars (really . . . I thought they were in my truck)! I was greeted with many common birds (once I finally arrived in section 3) like the Northern Cardinal, Black-capped Chickadee, American Tree Sparrow . . . Sweet . . . a Golden-crowned Kinglet. This is the first year I have found any Snow Buntings during the CBC and were also my first of the year (CHECK)! Snow buntings were found by 3 different groups in our circle and I was ecstatic with seeing sixteen of them in my section!!
During the afternoon I joined Tim along the Allegheny River which is always a productive area. We quickly found an adult Bald Eagle flying up river but just couldn’t locate any waterfowl (checked 4 times). Finally found my first woodpeckers for the day (Red-bellied Woodpecker and Downy Woodpecker) and about 80ish Cedar Waxwing that had probably been feeding on the grapes. This wasn’t a quite walk stomping through the icy goldenrods and spooked a Great Horned Owl from the grape vines! I think it won the award for the most beautiful bird of the day (it was also our only owl for our count).
We had a wonderful dinner where we reflected the many birds we saw today. The Cattaraugus County Bird Club recorded 49 species of birds and I was able to see 24 of those species in 2 of the 6 sections within the circle. Our group normally locate around 50 species each year but we did notice a lower number than normal of a few species. I was very disappointed in not locating any of the winter finch species that everyone has been talking about (A few others located some Redpolls).
I will include all 24 species that I located in the comments box. I can’t wait to see how everyone else did with their counts.
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