Monday, January 02, 2012

The Creighton Christmas Bird Count

...happened today. It was windy, the roads icy and our favourite road hadn't been plowed. We already had lots of snow and more fell over the weekend after the freezing rain, so we knew we were in for some challenging conditions. Regardless, it was fun. 

One of the highlights occurred right off this morning just 1 km from home. A flock of ptarmigan flew over the road in a serious hurry. Then we saw the Northern Goshawk. I've seen many over the years, but this one was hunting. I was holding my breath.

Here's where we stopped to check for otters.

No luck.

By the end of the day the wind was gusting to 50 km/hr. So were the ravens. They seemed to be having fun. The 443 that we counted, anyway.

We saw a total of 15 species of birds:
Northern Goshawk - 2
Willow Ptarmigan - 20
Sharp-tailed Grouse - 1
Rock Pigeon - 142
Hairy Woodpecker - 1
Gray Jay - 2
Black-billed Magpie - 6
Common Raven - 443
Black-capped Chickadee - 5
Boreal Chickadee - 7
Evening Grosbeak - 25
Pine Grosbeak - 31
Common Redpoll - 62
Hoary Redpoll - 6
House Sparrow - 2
My fingers were freezing. I got snow in my boots. It felt good.

Happy New Year!


carin said...

Sounds like you were well rewarded for the snow in your boots! (How do you count 443 ravens? I can barely manage accuracy in a flock of mourning doves.)

Brenda Schmidt said...

It was great! As for counting ravens, the count circle has a diameter of 24 km, so we covered a lot of ground during the day within the circle. I marked what we saw during the day. There are likely far more. There were 50 together in one spot, 25 in another and so on. It adds up. The other day, for instance, H counted 95 on a roof and about 200 roosting on beams of a large building, and that's just one roost. When they're sitting it's pretty easy.

Unknown said...

I like your species selection up there, Brenda. Other than the wind, sounds like a very good day.

Brenda Schmidt said...

It sure was! I was eying your CBC results with the same thought!

Pearl said...

what a great way to spend a day.

Brenda Schmidt said...

I love it. :)