Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Bird Count 2015

It's that time of year again - Audubon's Christmas Bird Counts are happening all over the world. CBCs as they are called, take place each year between Dec 14 and Jan 5. Birders concentrate on counting all of the birds of any species in a particular area. I have been assigned to Pennypack Environmental Center area for the past 5 or 6 years now. 

Barbara Granger, a fellow DVOC member has joined me for the past few years since she is familiar with the area. I am glad for the help. In past years, its just been me and Roxy alone in the woods for hours.  This year of course, Roxy didn't join us :-( but Peanut sure had fun on her first CBC! I'm an idiot and forgot to snap photos of my 2 companions this year so sorry about that. 

The area isn't "sexy" as far as the cool birds that other areas have which is probably why it gets left to me. The better birders already claim the good spots. We get the expected Chickadees and Nuthatches, some common sparrows and a few Mallard ducks. We walk over 2 miles up and down the Pennypack creek searching for and recording each bird that we see or hear. Our big win this year was that we saw all of the woodpeckers possible. We started with Downies at the Environmental Center feeders, Red-bellied near the center, added Flicker in the woods and heard the unmistakable call of the Pileated along the path. A few minutes later, we heard and saw Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. That left only Hairy to complete the set. Barbara found one late in our day! Yay.

The only other interesting birds for the day were Great Blue Heron which is not always on our part of the creek.

Great Blue Heron
And Crows. We counted 25 of them at the police horse stables. This one was perched on the coral. 

American Crow
We noticed this unusual wing pattern on another Crow. The primaries shouldn't be white like that. Weird.

Weird Crow
I know that you are probably disappointed with the lack of photos from the day but it is difficult to photograph and count at the same time. I hate to miss a few birds while concentrating on the photos. 

I hope to have something more exciting to report soon. 
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