Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Bird Count (CBC) for 2010

The 68th consecutive Christmas bird count for Carter County, Tenn., is official. We didn't snowed out as much as darked out. (Ran out of daylight.) Our group had 50 species for 49 miles and about eight hours of driving (Don Holt at the helm, Diane Draper, Kim Stroud, Kathy Noblett, and Charles Moore all back-seat drivers).

We were worried that we'd not make an average of about 40 species. And at times some lone individual would pop up without a host of partners that we expected. For example, we counted a Cedar waxwing early and then later in the afternoon found a flock. It would have been weird to report "one Cedar waxwing." But these things happen. We found a lone Great blue heron and just about missed it. Our water fowl and Bald eagle came within minutes and less than a mile of each other.

As usual, for any count, the starlings out winged everything on the order thousands. They've become a nuisance bird, to say the least.

But, just one more species that the other five groups didn't also have and we'd topped out at 80 species for the count. An all-time new high species! As it was we hit 79 for the day, tied with two other years. The average is 70 species over the last 30 years. That's pretty good!



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