Thank you to all who attempted to go out for the Gloucester County Christmas Bird Count. What a messy day! As you could sense from my numerous texts and e-mails I wasn't sure what to do – cancel, delay, or other. Fortunately after soliciting advice, Jerry Haag, compiler of the Salem and Elmer counts wrote back to me and said "We have done this before as you know. Jack Mahon and I will be going out a little later.“ This kind of sealed my decision to have folks go out later if they were not ready or if they were somewhat uncomfortable earlier.
Despite the weather and the shortened day by most, we were still able to find 95 species on the day. As with every count, there were some oddities, omissions, and highlights. One of the more impressive (or unimpressive depending upon how you look at it) highlights was that there were 17 species counted only one area in a count circle. This means that some of you were the only ones viewing this particular species. This sounds unusually high for the count. Only nine species were seen by all areas; this is down a bit from the previous count.
Some other notable finds are the following (not meant to leave anyone or anything out!).
If we were to add the "none" to the list above we would have possibly hit 100! This happens, however, it all averages out. Some species drop unexpectedly and others seem to get elusive.
- Snow Goose lower numbers (643)
- Mallard / Black Duck is solid. 549/308.
- Green Winged Teal - nine, wonder if the couple days of freezing weather pushed them out
- Red-Breasted Merganser - none
- Black Vultures outnumber Turkey Vulture s, 148 to 62. More Black Vultures in the roost.
- Red-Shouldered Hawk - (seven) little higher
- Bald Eagle - lower numbers eight this year - weather?
- Falcons - low numbers.
- No game birds other than Turkeys
- American Woodcock - one seen by Rich Dilks group
- Northern Flicker and Red Bellied Woodpecker numbers neck and neck 70 and 67 respectively.
- Crow numbers were low.
- White-Breasted Nuthatch numbers up
- House Wren - seen by Glenn Green at feeder
- Gray Catbird - none
- Robins - fairly common
- Cedar Waxwings - three
- Yellow Rumped Warblers down a bit only 40 and 22 seem by one party
- Eastern Meadowlark - none concern here
- Purple Finch - one seen by Henderson/Holt Basset and Rhynard group
- Chipping Sparrow - none
- Horned Grebe - five seen by two parties: Henry/Shaw
- Baltimore Oriole - seen by Mollenhauers
- Common Yellowthroat - warbler seen by Brian & Paula Hayes
Thanks to all our feeder watchers. Some of you became feeder watchers as a result of the weather and help to make the count notable. We continue to build on this segment of the count.
May our next count bring more pleasurable weather. However, there are no guarantees! Sometimes the circumstances are cause for various stories that can go on forever. Thank you again for taking part. If you didn't join us please save the date. The 2017 Northwestern Gloucester County Christmas count will be held on Saturday, December 16.
Thank you again to Kirk and Donna Strohmeier for welcoming us into their home for the wrap-up the night of the count. It is always a welcome finish to an exciting day. Remember your time is well spent and appreciated since this is a Citizen Science project providing important observations and info to the database.
Ron Kegel, compiler
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