Wake Audubon Blog

2015 Christmas Bird Count

i Dec 22nd No Comments by

Authored by John Connors

Report from the Field

The Raleigh Christmas Bird Count was held on Saturday, December 19. After an extended warm spell, Saturday was clear but seasonably cold with early morning temperatures below freezing, and the wind picked up as the day advanced.

Twenty-one groups with more than 70 participants surveyed the same southern Wake County parks, reservoirs and farmlands that bird counters have been visiting since the Raleigh Count was initiated in 1937. As compiler, I organize the group leaders and assign participants before the count, and then I tally and submit the results to a national database afterward.

I haven’t received all the count tallies yet, but preliminary results list 95 species of birds sighted by our groups. Many counters reported low overall bird numbers, and some species were noticeably uncommon, for example, Goldfinch. But diversity and numbers for most species was comparable to other years.

Some highlights include:

Redhead Duck (2) at Lake Wheeler, Northern Harrier (1) near Schenck Forest, Horned Lark (1) and American Pipits (45) at Mid-Pines, Loggerhead Shrike (1) at Schenck Forest, Blue-headed Vireo (1) at Walnut Creek, Common Raven (2) at Umstead State Park, as well as singles and multiple sightings of the following: House Wren, Gray Catbird, Palm Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Fox Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow,  Rusty Blackbird, Baltimore Oriole and Purple Finch.

The best bird of the day might be a Red-necked Grebe that was seen at Lake Benson by our paddling birding team of Kyle Kittelberger and Brian Bockhahn. This might be the first ever reported on our count.

Notable misses up to this point include: Northern Bobwhite, Eastern Screech Owl, Herring Gull, Red-breasted Nuthatch and Pine Siskin.

Have a happy, safe and peaceful Holiday season.

 

CBC group at Yates Mill. Photo by Cheryl Siegel

CBC group at Yates Mill. Photo by Cheryl Siegel

Hermit Thrush at Walnut Creek. Photo by John Gerwin

Hermit Thrush at Walnut Creek. Photo by John Gerwin

Rusty Blackbird on the Raleigh Greenway. This photo taken on last year's CBC by John Gerwin

Rusty Blackbird on the Raleigh Greenway. This photo taken on last year’s CBC by John Gerwin

Sharp-shinned Hawk at Walnut Creek. Photo by John Gerwin

Sharp-shinned Hawk at Walnut Creek. Photo by John Gerwin

Great Blue Heron photo by Jeff Beane

Great Blue Heron photo by Jeff Beane

American Bittern at Prairie Ridge. Photo by Jeff Beane

American Bittern at Prairie Ridge. Photo by Jeff Beane

American Kestrel photo by Jeff Beane

American Kestrel photo by Jeff Beane

Eastern Bluebird photo by Jeff Beane

Eastern Bluebird photo by Jeff Beane

 

Comments

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *