Christmas Bird Count Results


Dana Sector 2014 stats   |   strbtot years to 2014


Results from the Sturbridge Christmas Bird Count

Click on the STRBTOT link at the top of the page to view results.The 20th STURBRIDGE CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT was held on MONDAY

DECEMBER 14TH. The weather was milder than usual (temps in the high 40s and
low 50s) but there was mist, drizzle and later in the afternoon: dense fog. That
said, despite having a bad fall, I spent more time outside the car hiking than I
usually do. 33 participants in 20 parties covered the circle. 92.3 miles and 14
hours were spent owling. During daylight hours, birders drove 571.1 miles and
70.5 hours looking for species and spent 57 hours and walked 51.75 miles on
foot. Pretty impressive!
We totaled 77 species and 3 count week species. One of the count week birds,
2 BLACK VULTURES, fortunately spotted by master raptor watcher BILL
LAFLECHE, were a new species for the count, but to be looked for in future
years. BVs are a weird species in Massachusetts. Very much on their own and
wandering in winter, they do not like really prolonged cold. In the town of
Blackstone, where numbers of BVs have been over-wintering, they can often be
found warming up on residential roofs and chimneys in winter (much to the
dismay of those residents).
Because of the mild temps, water was open and we tallied 13 species of
waterfowl including high counts for Snow Goose (an amazing 33); Green-
winged Teal, Northern Pintail, Lesser Scaup,  and Bufflehead as well as
finding a female American Wigeon. The wigeon, teal and pintails were all PST:
present for some time. The Snow Geese were part of a larger fall out of that
species in the state: over 300 Snow Geese were found that day in one of the
Berkshire Lakes. Other “good birds” included: Pied-billed Grebe, Northern
Harrier (2); American Woodcock, Ruby-crowned Kinglet; Hermit Thrush (5
seen); Gray Catbird; Bohemian Waxwing (cw); Yellow-rumped Warbler;
OVENBIRD (new for count!); and Eastern Towhee. There were several high
counts most notably for the blackbirds: RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD and
COMMON GRACKLE, which shattered all previous counts. The two Count Week
species were Bohemian Waxwing and a Common Redpoll, which was seen after
the count.
Winter irruptive species were mostly a “no show” with just a smattering of Red-
breasted Nuthatches, Golden-crowned Kinglets, siskins and Purple Finches.
Misses included Mute Swan and Horned Lark. BTW: check the year totals for
larks and note their decline in the circle. Most likely this is due to loss of farmland
in the area. Low counts were had for a number of species like Sharp-shinned
Hawk and raven.
All in all a good count and I want to thank BILL AND NANCY CORMIER for
being gracious patient hosts all these years in addition to commanding the
largest sector in the circle! They always bring new people into the count, which I
deeply appreciate.
Personally I want to thank BOBBYE SAMDAHL, DAVE GRANT AND
SUZANNE VAN DYKE for joining my sector and doing such a bang up job. In the
beginning, I had another team for years, then they left and Sheila and I have
been doing it (with help from Val Miller in the afternoon). But it is obvious, the
more teams, the better the coverage.
Sorry if I seemed a bit distracted at the comp. After the very bad fall, I likely
should have gone home and let Sheila command things, but I decided to stick it
out. But by the time the comp came, I was in a world of hurt AND having
hyperkalemic muscle issues to boot. I was a mess. I have since seen my PT and
have a knee brace and am icing my various injured body parts. DAMN THOSE
2016s count will be on WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 14, the first day of the count.

Mark Lynch