ROCKLAND AUDUBON SOCIETY

 

Christmas Bird Count Summary

  

Date: 12/14/2008

Thanks to all the field participants and feeder watchers for a successful count! Look for the final results in the 62(1) issue of the RAS OBSERVER (to be mailed in January).

Weather: Skies were mostly sunny in the morning with increasing clouds throughout the day. Temperatures ranged from below freezing in the morning (24°F) to a high of nearly 43 °F at 2 PM. Average wind speed was less than 2 mph in the morning and reaching 6-8 mph by midday. Peak gusts during midday generally reached 15-28 mph. Wind direction was SW-SSW. No measurable precipitation occurred at any time during the count day. There was no snow cover. Lakes and ponds were largely frozen, but generally included some open water. Running waters were almost entirely open. The Hudson River was entirely ice-free.

 

Field Observers (40 adults, 2 fledglings, a.k.a. children.): Group 1: Alan Wells, Della Wells, Phil Faurot, Julia Warger, John Tyler; Group 2: Gene Herskovics, Tom Fuller, Elyse Fuller Group 3: Jessie Traband, Frank Kemmer Group 4: Bonnie Koop, Helen Russell, Donna Nye, Debbie Bell, Joanna Goldone; Group 5: Susan Freiman, Pat Murray, Gloria North, Karen D’Alessandri; Group 6: Stephanie Garber, Michael Garber, Glenys Foster Roberts, Veronika Krause; Group 7: Carol Weiss, Joan Totton, Marsha Meyer, Ken McNichol, Sandy Mattson; Group 8: Jim Previdi, Larrie Goetz, Gene Brown, Dan Albantides, Ron Conzo, Jeremy Pardo; Group 9: Vince Plogar, Frank Bonanno, Drew Ciganek, Tom Harten, Karl Knoecklein, Tom Dow, Susan Dow, Chris Healy.

 

Feeder Counters (4): Nancy Slowik, Caroline McDonald, John & Jane Lampkin, the Pardo Family.

 

Coverage (Preliminary): 328 miles traveled by car, 59 miles traveled by foot.

 

Results: The 62nd Rockland Audubon Christmas Bird count was held December 14, a week earlier than usual. A total of 42 people participated in the field compared to 36 in 2007. A total of 21,566 individual birds, representing 92 species were counted by the field observers. An additional 269 individuals were added by the feeder counters. Feeder counters tallied 28 species, one of which, Gray Catbird, was not observed by the field counters. Four additional species, Pied-billed Grebe, Horned Grebe, Long-tailed Duck and Green-winged Teal, were reported during count week (three days before and three days after count day). Overall, the number of species counted (96) was the highest ever recorded in the 62-year history of the RAS count. The total number of individuals was similar to those observed during the last 7-8 years. The top five species—European Starling (5,840), Canada Goose (4,049), Common Merganser (2,237), Ring-billed Gull (1,447), and Mallard (868)—made up 66% of the total number observed. Bald Eagle sightings (18) were the second highest in the RAS count history, behind the 29 counted in 2007.

 

Highlights: Several unusual sighting occurred this year, including: Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Merlin, American Pipit, Black-crowned Night Heron, Black Vulture, Long-tailed Duck, and Common Redpoll. Killdeer was a surprising miss.

 

 

Photo 1. Christmas Bird Count Sunrise over Haverstraw Bay, Hudson River.

 

Photo 2. John Tyler spotted this young Merlin having breakfast near Bowline Pond. This was only the sixth time a Merlin has been recorded on the RAS CBC.

 

Photo 3. Best Buds! This odd pair of Haverstraw Landfill geese were seemingly inseparable.

 

Photo 4. This lone Horned Lark was spotted by Phil Faurot at the Haverstraw Landfill. So where were the rest of them?

 

Photo 5. This Mallard × American Black Duck hybrid was discovered and photographed on a small pond at Letchworth Village on 12/13/08 during a pre-CBC scouting expedition. It was still present on count day.

 

Photo 6. Hundreds of Dark-eyed Juncos and White-throated Sparrows were found at Stony Point Battlefield the day before the count. On count day, they were gone!

 

Photo 7. Phil Faurot, John Tyler, Della Wells, and Julia Warger search a hedgerow at Haverstraw Bay County Park (Region 1) without much success.

 

Photo 8.Drew Ciganek digiscoped this Greater Yellowlegs at Piermont Pier (Region 9). This is the first time this species has appeared on the RAS CBC.

 

Photo 9.Micheal Garber photographed this posing Northern Mockingbird in Region 6.

 

Preliminary Results
Common Name Region Total Feeder Total Count Week Rank

European Starling

5840

34

0

1

Canada Goose

4049

20

0

2

Common Merganser

2237

0

0

3

Ring-billed Gull

1447

0

0

4

Mallard

868

0

0

5

Dark-eyed Junco

649

16

0

6

Canvasback

654

0

0

7

American Crow

608

2

0

8

House Sparrow

552

36

0

9

American Robin

444

2

0

10

Red-winged Blackbird

415

0

0

11

Rock Pigeon

359

3

0

12

American Goldfinch

351

2

0

13

Ruddy Duck

314

0

0

14

White-throated Sparrow

269

25

0

15

Blue Jay

223

13

0

16

Mourning Dove

196

18

0

17

Tufted Titmouse

191

15

0

18

Black-capped Chickadee

176

13

0

19

Northern Cardinal

169

11

0

20

Song Sparrow

142

6

0

21

Northern Mockingbird

103

1

0

22

Downy Woodpecker

97

3

0

23

Common Grackle

76

0

0

24

Northern Shoveler

71

0

0

25

Turkey Vulture

67

3

0

26

Common Goldeneye

69

0

0

27

Red-tailed Hawk

67

1

0

28

House Finch

42

20

0

29

Wild Turkey

55

0

0

30

Hooded Merganser

54

0

0

31

Black Vulture

51

0

0

32

White-breasted Nuthatch

43

7

0

33

Bufflehead

49

0

0

34

Carolina Wren

48

1

0

34

American Black Duck

43

0

0

36

Red-bellied Woodpecker

39

4

0

36

Gadwall

34

0

0

38

Great Black-backed Gull

33

0

0

39

American Coot

26

0

0

40

Double-crested Cormorant

25

0

0

41

Northern Flicker

25

0

0

41

American Tree Sparrow

20

4

0

43

Hairy Woodpecker

19

2

0

44

Golden-crowned Kinglet

20

0

0

45

Bald Eagle (A=Adult)

18

0

0

46

Herring Gull

16

0

0

47

American Pipit

15

0

0

48

Mute Swan

14

0

0

49

Great Blue Heron

14

0

0

49

Eastern Screech-Owl

12

0

0

51

Belted Kingfisher

12

0

0

51

Sharp-shinned Hawk

11

0

0

53

Hermit Thrush

11

0

0

53

Great Horned Owl

7

2

0

55

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

9

0

0

55

Wood Duck

8

0

0

57

Cooper's Hawk

8

0

0

57

Pileated Woodpecker

8

0

0

57

Eastern Bluebird

8

0

0

57

Yellow-rumped Warbler

8

0

0

57

Brown Creeper

6

0

0

62

Savannah Sparrow

6

0

0

62

Fox Sparrow

1

4

0

64

Ring-necked Duck

3

0

0

65

Northern Harrier

3

0

0

65

Common Raven

3

0

0

65

Winter Wren

3

0

0

65

Swamp Sparrow

3

0

0

65

Purple Finch

3

0

0

65

Snow Goose

2

0

0

71

Osprey

2

0

0

71

Merlin

2

0

0

71

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

2

0

0

71

Fish Crow

2

0

0

71

Pine Siskin

2

0

0

71

Mallard × American Black Duck

1

0

0

77

Black-crowned Night Heron

1

0

0

77

Rough-legged Hawk

1

0

0

77

American Kestrel

1

0

0

77

Peregrine Falcon

1

0

0

77

Greater Yellowlegs

1

0

0

77

Lesser Yellowlegs

1

0

0

77

Wilson's Snipe

1

0

0

77

Barred Owl

1

0

0

77

Horned Lark

1

0

0

77

Red-breasted Nuthatch

1

0

0

77

Gray Catbird

0

1

0

77

Eastern Towhee

1

0

0

77

Rusty Blackbird

1

0

0

77

Brown-headed Cowbird

1

0

0

77

Common Redpoll

1

0

0

77

 

Plus Count Week: Horned Grebe, Pied-billed Grebe, Long-tailed Duck, and Green-winged Teal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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