On Dec 26th 2012, Sullivan County Audubon Society held their 63rd Christmas Bird Count. Twenty-two of our best birders set out to see how many birds they could find within a 15 mile circle that centers at the Neversink Gorge outside of Monticello. Seven teams and one feeder watcher braved the twenty degree temperatures. Then a snow storm formed mid-afternoon bringing everything to a halt. Many of us had all we could do to get home safe.
The biggest disappointment of the day was that our countdown dinner had to be cancelled. That's our reward for spending hours upon hours staring through our binoculars and spotting scopes. It's fun comparing notes and telling stories about the day you had "out in the field." Good food and great friends----it doesn't get much better!
Fifty-five species were found that day with another three found within the count week. One new bird was added to our overall list, an American Pipit. Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers, Blue Jays, Black-capped Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatches and House Sparrows have been found on all 63 counts. In addition to the 914 Canada Geese some of the high numbers include 436 Mallards, 319 Ring-billed Gulls, 104 Blue Jays, 398 Black-capped Chickadees, 738 Dark-eyed Juncos, and 82 Northern Cardinals. A total of 5203 individuals were counted that day. Take another look---over 5000 birds. That's amazing!
The results from the Christmas Bird Count can now be viewed online at www.christmasbirdcount.org On that website you can visit the history page and see the results of our last 63 counts. The magazine that was produced in past years has now given way to the internet. All results will now be online instead of on paper.
I want to thank all the participants for the dedicated effort and time each of you put into this project. Each of you gives it your all, and it shows in the numbers of species and individuals. Thank you. I would also like to thank Dan Niven for all his efforts in reporting past Christmas Counts. Dan stepped down this year and handed the reins over to me. I hope I will do as well. Thanks Dan.
Warblings, Spring 2013