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2009 Annual Waterfowl Survey

Today a few of us from the Cattaraugus County Bird Club participated in the NYS DEC / NYSOA annual waterfowl survey. Each January a quarter of a million ducks across New York State are counted by bird clubs, state officials and your average birder. In years past we had participate in the Mid-winter Bald Eagle Survey, where we would help locate Eagles wintering along the Allegheny River (while also looking for waterfowl) . . . . But for some reason these dates did not overlap as they had previously. The results of this survey will help determine the long-term monitoring of waterfowl within New York State during the winter months.

Common Goldeneye in the Snow
Common Goldeneye in the Snow

We observed a total of 26 species of birds with my highlights of the day being 23 Common Goldeneyes, a Northern Shrike and 79 Wild Turkeys. First for the year birds included the Bufflehead, Pied-billed Grebe, Common Goldeneye, Black Duck, Northern Shrike, and a Coopers Hawk (CHECK)! Even with the never ending snow and frozen river/reservoir . . . . we still had an amazing waterfowl day. Maybe with the cold blast that had moved through the area helped push birds south from Lake Erie and the birds seemed to be concentrated in smaller patches of open water. The snow made it hard to capture any decent photos but did happen to get a few shots.

Northern Shrike
Northern Shrike

2006

2007

2008

2009

Bald Eagle

8

1

6

3

Pied-billed Grebe

1

3

Canada Goose

125

185

223

77

Mallard

89

96

99

103

Black Duck

7

3

5

53

Common Merganser

26

46

41

49

Hooded Merganser

2

3

9

12

Bufflehead

2

4

Common Goldeneye

1

23

Long-tailed Duck

1

Total

259

336

384

327


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12 responses

  1. At least yesterday was warmer than Saturday for your count. Amazing how the weather effects bird counts. It was reported in our local paper that there are a lot less seagulls than in the past around here. Makes me wonder when Michele and I will see the Eagles at the nest with our water freezing.

    19 January 2009 at 7:46 am

  2. Sounds like you had a good time despite the snow. I love the shrike photo!

    Good birding to you!

    19 January 2009 at 9:38 am

  3. We went out about a week ago looking for ducks at Presque Isle but the ducks were too far out, we couldn’t tell what they were with the binoculars. I had my scope but didn’t want to get out of the car because I am a freeze bug. I should get a window mount. Your list is so impressive. I did see a Northern Shrike at the Erie Refuge (my first ever) so I feel I’m off to a good start as compared to last year.

    19 January 2009 at 9:43 am

  4. Sarah

    The last shot looks like a painting. I like it.

    19 January 2009 at 11:35 am

  5. Love the goldeneyes in the snow! Looks like you saw a great variety, despite the weather.

    19 January 2009 at 2:01 pm

  6. Luis M.

    Wow, that Northern Shrike is certainly a nice winter sighting!

    19 January 2009 at 2:10 pm

  7. Terrible, but amusing:

    19 January 2009 at 8:02 pm

  8. Marg

    That Shrike photo is just beautiful!

    21 January 2009 at 8:55 pm

  9. Grace

    I too love the shrike photo. I still haven’t found one. Maybe this year.

    21 January 2009 at 10:06 pm

  10. @ Toni – so many things effect birdwatching days! Seems like the worse of days is always best bird days!
    @ Birdfreak – thanks and was a good time for sure!
    @ Linda – I so need to get to Presque Isle and do some birding!
    @ Sarah – Thanks 🙂
    @ Adam – They are birds we don’t get to see that often . . I was very happy with them!
    @ Luis – thanks and they are great birds to find!
    @ Sceinceguy – Thanks
    @ Marg – Thanks 🙂
    @ Grace – This was down on holts run area!

    21 January 2009 at 10:44 pm

  11. Looks like a good set of counts. Interesting how much the numbers and species can fluctuate year to year

    25 January 2009 at 10:29 am

  12. I know isn’t it interesting! That’s what I like about posting prev years numbers!

    25 January 2009 at 10:36 pm

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