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Cobble Mtn Christmas Count

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December 30, 2017

Seth Kellogg

There were again 10 teams but only 17 observers, two fewer than in 2016 and the fewest in 20 years.  Conditions and numbers were not quite ideal after a legacy of late December storms and cold snaps probably drove a lot of wintering birds farther south.  The morning was very cold, but it warmed to just above freezing by mid-day.  Skies were partly cloudy with snow showers and light wind with a layer of ice and snow still covering the ground.

Teams and Highlights

Westfield-SW:  Joanne Fortin, five hours, 29 species, including feeder report from Elethea Goodkin:  4 Turkeys, 3 Sapsuckers, 85 Chickadees, a Carolina Wren, 8 Bluebirds, 7 Robins, 15 Waxwings, 110 Juncos

Blandford and Westfield:  Kathy and Myles Conway, 7 hours, 26 species, Mute Swan, 8 Turkeys, a Red-shouldered Hawk, a Raven, a Brown Creeper, 4 Golden-crowned Kinglet, a Raven, a Purple Finch 15 Cedar Waxwing

Russell and Westfield:  Tom Swochak, 8 hours plus 1.5 owling, 35 species, 4 Snow Geese, a Barnacle Goose, 1500 Canada Goose, 14 Black Duck, a Hooded Merganser, 2 Common Merganser, a Screech Owl, a Sapsucker, 2 Flickers, 3 Carolina Wren, 4 Golden-crowned Kinglet, a Hermit Thrush, and a Catbird

North Granby and West Granville:  John Weeks, Chris Chinni, 5 hours plus 1.5 owling 28 species, 4 Turkeys, a Cooper’s Hawk, 2 Great Horned Owl, 3 Barred Owl, a Raven, a Red-breasted Nuthatch, a Brown Creeper, 2 Golden-crowned Kinglet, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, a Carolina Wren, 5 Bluebird, a Hermit Thrush

East Granville:  Mary Felix, 6.5 hours, a Red-shouldered Hawk, a Pileated Woodpecker, a Raven, 3 Bluebird

Southwick: Janice Zepko, Seth Kellogg, 8 hours plus 1.2 owling, 37 species, 17 Black Duck, 30 Turkeys, a Bald Eagle, a Sharp-shinned Hawk, a Red-shouldered Hawk, a Great Horned Owl, a Pileated Woodpecker, a Red-breasted Nuthatch, a Brown Creeper, 2 Carolina Wren, 19 Robins, 20 Cedar Waxwings, 2 Cowbird

Westfield and Montgomery:  Al and Lois Richardson, 5 hours, 32 species, a Sharp-shinned Hawk, a Cooper’s Hawk, a Sapsucker, 3 Raven, 2 Carolina Wren, 16 Bluebird, 20 Cedar Waxwing, a Merlin

Westfield:  Dave McLain, 8 hours plus 2.5 owling, 41 species, 7 Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, a Sharp-shinned Hawk, 10 Screech Owl, a Barred Owl, a Flicker, a Brown Creeper, 4 Carolina Wren, 6 Golden-crowned Kinglet, 6 Bluebird, 38 Cedar Waxwing a Cowbird

Westfield:  George Kingston, Jean Delaney, 2.5 hours, 20 species, a Ring-billed Gull, 12 Horned Lark 8, Bluebird

Southwick-SW: Bambi Kenny and April Kenney, 6 hours plus 1.25 owling, 24 species, 2 Flicker, 2 Golden-crowned Kinglet, a Robin

The 63 hours was the fewest ever and well below average. The 58 species recorded were below the 26-year average of 63 and the fourth fewest ever.  No species showed significantly high numbers.  There were above average counts of Mallard, Turkey, Mourning Dove, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Sapsucker, Carolina Wren, Song Sparrow, Junco, and Cardinal. The Snow Goose and Barnacle Goose were species new to the count.  It was the third year for Merlin and the fourth for Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

Click below to view or download complete count results.

2017 Cobble Mtn Christmas Count