Contests & Special Counts
Christmas Bird Count 2021
Posted 04/13/2022      
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Our Christmas Bird Count circle was once again productive in another unusual year. Our teams continued to be spread out into smaller groups due to ongoing COVID precautions, and 17 individuals participated from the Bashakill to Monticello and everywhere in between. The temperatures hovered in the thirties all day and a persistent fog hung over the count circle for most of the day. 

Our feeder watchers included Arlene Borko and Deanna Mendels. A large flock of Wild Turkeys were recorded at the feeders along with many of our more familiar birds. A group of Rock Pigeons were even recorded coming in for the seed offering! 

The Bashakill was covered almost entirely on foot by the team of Scott Baldinger, Mary Buskey, Joyce Depew, and Marlena Lange. Not surprisingly, most of our waterfowl were recorded here along with a large number of American Robins which seem to be more and more common during the winter months. 

Kathy Scullion, Bill Cutler, and Scott Graber did very well in finding numerous raptors in the fog as they traveled through their section. Amazingly, they found four Barred Owls along with Red-tailed and Sharp-shinned Hawks, and Bald Eagles. 

Russel Sheirer joined our count and recorded the highest number of gulls. The Monticello area can be hit or miss with them as they travel to the lakes just outside of the count circle so 45 Ring-billed Gulls were a great addition!

John Haas not only found Common Mergansers that were missing from most other open bodies of water, he found 387 of them! His area of the count has a lot of coniferous forest and along with that came good numbers of Dark-eyed Juncos, Black-capped Chickadees, and both nuthatches. 

Renee Davis and Karen Miller worked the area between Wurtsboro and the Bashakill and found an amazing 212 Dark-eyed Juncos. Working the section adjacent to Wurtsboro were Mary Collier and Marge Gorton. They had a small group of Snow Geese flying below the fog ceiling which was a definitive highlight of the count!

Patrick and Riley Dechon covered the area along the Neversink River which was mostly open and provided great looks at Hooded Mergansers. Along with the other sections, woodpeckers of several species were very active along the river. 

It was another great day in the field and thank you again to all who participated. We counted 3,395 individuals from 56 species during 2021 Christmas Bird Count and had an additional six species during the Count Week.

Patrick  Dechon