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The QCBC CBC 2013

posted Dec 31, 2013, 12:42 PM by Arie Gilbert   [ updated Dec 31, 2013, 12:43 PM ]

Corey Finger of 10,000, QCBC member, and the enthusiastic holder of the reigns of QCBC's CBC Compilation has written up a fantastic historical account of the QCBC CBC, and how the territories came to be. Read it -here- and decide "how sweet it is" or "fuggedaboutit"

Preliminary results:

The Queens County Christmas Bird Count was held yesterday, Sunday, 15 December. A total of 44 birders covered our circle for the day. We had pretty good weather for the count, with temperatures ranging from just below the freezing mark to just over 40 and no precipitation at all.

We totaled 118 species, which ties our "modern" record and is just 6 short of our all time best. (We'll have 119 if NYSARC accepts the Common Linnet which is still hanging in there at Kissena Corridor Park but what are the chances of that?) We also have, so far, a single count-week bird.

Highlights included King Eider, Nashville Warbler, Palm Warbler, 2 Glaucous Gulls, Marsh Wren, Common Raven and 5 Snowy Owls. Misses didn't include many terribly obvious birds, with Red-breasted Nuthatch probably being the worst. We also missed snipe, Common Eider (though we got it for count week), American Bittern, all of the winter finches excepting goldfinch, and Eurasian Wigeon, though none of those birds are a huge surprise as a miss.

Mostly we got all of the expected birds though some we only got by the skin of our teeth.  White-winged Scoter, Merlin, Razorbill, Short-eared Owl, Fish Crow, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Brown Thrasher, Cedar Waxwing, and Orange-crowned Warbler were all found as individuals and the Fish Crow was only identified as such because it looked small and responded to a Fish Crow tape with its own "caa-ing."

We had ten species in quadruple digits. They were: Snow Goose, 2276; Brant, 2314; Canada Goose, 3597; Mallard, 1188; Greater Scaup, 6302; Ring-billed Gull, 4251; Herring Gull, 1441; Rock Pigeon, 1616; European Starling, 2081; and Common Grackle, 2821.

Our Black-capped Chickadee count was 30 and Tufted Titmouse was 22. The former was pretty much only found in areas where they breed so it looks like we did not have a migratory influx. The latter is slightly less than the average for recent years.

Because this is my first year compiling I don't have all of the data from previous years organized in such a way that I can quickly figure out what species for which we had high counts. Hopefully, I'll have that information at my fingertips next time - I just have to spend more time on spreadsheets when I'd rather be out birding.

Many thanks to all who participated, especially Mary Normandia who stepped in as a sector leader at the last second and Jean Loscalzo who coordinated a large group of birders in the Forest Park sector.

Here's hoping we get 50 participants and 120 species next year!

Good (Christmas Bird Count) Birding,
Corey Finger


... to come