The field work for this 18th annual Little River IBA Count was done on a mild evening (temp mid-70s, mostly cloudy, winds S at 8 mph), followed by a mild, foggy morning and a steamy, hot afternoon (temps of low 60’s rose to 92 degrees by 3:00 pm, light winds becoming stronger in the afternoon).
The compilation get-together was accomplished electronically using Zoom, due to continuing COVID-19 concerns, and though just a few participants took part, we enjoyed the usual spirited conversation about the day’s adventures.
Altogether, there were 7 teams and 12 observers in the field for a total of 64.25 hours. The hours of effort were down 6.5 from last year, and well below the Count’s average of 72. The total number of species counted was 103, falling below our average of 111.
Misses of note include, Common Merganser, Common Loon (limited access to reservoir), American Bittern, Cooper’s Hawk (first time missed since 2007), Killdeer, Whip-poor-will (found every year up until 2017), Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (missed only two other years in history of count), and especially White-throated Sparrow (first miss ever). Near misses, with just one individual found, were Hooded Merganser, Green Heron, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Virginia Rail, Woodcock, Acadian Flycatcher, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Nashville Warbler, and Purple Finch.
High counts were set this year for Great Crested Flycatcher (25), White-breasted Nuthatch (24), Carolina Wren (6) and Rose-breasted Grosbeak (32, twice the Count average of 16). The Yellow-billed Cuckoo (4) was a second high, with a high count of five individuals in 2007. And finally, a Screech Owl was identified for the first time since 2010.
Click below to view or download complete count results.