Just completed our year’s serious birding by participating, again, in the Hudson Christmas Bird Count.
Had to work quite hard for our birds this year – many of the feeders we are used to getting our numbers up on were either no longer there or simply bereft of birds even when full of seed. Two notable exceptions were quite well used but one of those was a feeder on Fief that you had arranged with the owners to tally so we passed it by. We are guessing that the warmer weather has enabled the birds to disperse more after natural food and not need to be so reliant on feeders this year. The Wild Turkeys we saw last year were also playing coy, though I see from a message that has just posted on OQ that some were in the area again – a good sign.
In general we found that the usual flocks of Starlings and Pigeons that are normally abundant around the farms beyond St-Clet were mostly simply not present at all or only in ones and twos and the wandering flocks of Snow Buntings were, apart from a mere four birds, nowhere to be seen this year which was a great pity. By contrast BC-Chickadees were much commoner than some years (which bears out our general observation everywhere this year) and Crows were seen all over the place in larger than typical numbers – at least for this route.
Our bird of the day was a very handsome Gray Partridge. A couple of Red-tails, a Sharpie and a Pileated added a little excitement to the usual crop of bread-and-butter species while the Rte-201 Raven put in his annual appearance at the last minute.
Looking forward to next year already and to seeing the collated results from this year’s count.