This was our 33rd year of participation as Cobble Mtn Circle in National Audubon’s Christmas Count. Here’s a rundown of how we did this year compared to past years. We brought in a total of 66 species, down three species from last year, but still three over average. Observer number was down by one birder and hours in the field was down by seven, but both were above average for the count. Water was unfrozen for the most part, excepting some thin ice on the edges of still, shallow waters. The temperature ranged between 20-40 degrees F, the morning had clear skies, but clouds prevailed in the afternoon with a light breeze out of the S at 0-5 mph.
You could say things were ho-hum this year, with most species and numbers coming in about average. There was one species found in a higher number than usual and that was Golden-crowned Kinglet. We counted 35 kinglets, 5 above average, and we must go back to 2009 to find a higher count of 47.
There was also one species found in notably lower numbers than usual. It was the House Sparrow. At 174 individuals, it was 200 below average and the lowest number ever recorded on the count. YAY!!!
We were fortunate to find some rarer species. It seems Congamond always comes through for us, and this year the lakes gave us two American Wigeon (first time recorded), two Green-winged Teal (seen only one other time over the last 10 years), and 4 Greater Scaup (highest number of individuals to date). Pine Siskins had the highest count in the last 15 years at 37. And finally, a Pine Warbler and a Vesper Sparrow were found for the first time ever in count history.
An unfortunate miss for this year was Sharp-shinned Hawk. The year 2013 was the only other count where this species was not recorded.
Three count week species were added by Dave McLain and Kim Jones. On the day after the count, they found 18 Lesser Scaup, 1 Pied-billed Grebe, and 1 Ruddy Duck on Congamond.
Special thanks to Joanne Fortin, who hosted the compilation and is always generous and gracious about sharing her home with the group.
Click below to view or download complete count results.