The Sullivan County Christmas Bird Count – preliminary report

Sullivan County held its 62nd Christmas Bird Count today, 12/28/11. A total of 53 species and one additional count week species (Great Black-backed Gull 12/27) were seen. Lance Verderame and I had a total of 30 species in our area, and an additional 3 including a late day check of Kiamesha Lake, Arlene Borko, Renee Davis and Marge Gorton had 33 species and Scott Baldingers team had 33 species. There were four other teams out, but I don’t have the break down of their totals. Highlights of the day for Lance and I were 48 PURPLE FINCHES, 10 BALD EAGLES, 4 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES and 6 BONAPARTE’S GULLS. Arlene’s group had great looks at an EASTERN SCREECH-OWL and many of the half-hardies such as Mockingbirds and Flickers. Scott’s team had the only GREAT HORNED OWL and Mute Swan. Patrick Dechon’s team found the only PINE WARBLER, while the two Ruth’s found the only GREAT BLUE HERON. The absolute highlight of the day was when two of the teams met at Kiamesha Lake as the birds were coming in to roost. Over 500 gulls, which hasn’t happened in a couple of years (Kiamesha normally frozen well before now), as well as 381 Common Mergansers, a Bufflehead and a Bald Eagle who put everything into a frenzy for several minutes. Of the Gulls, the six Bonaparte’s Gulls were the highlight. We all had a great day. Here is the complete list, with only high or low counts listed:

Canada Goose
Mute Swan – 1
American Black Duck
Ring-necked Duck – 7
Bufflehead – 1
Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser – over 400
Great Blue Heron – 1
Bald Eagle – 20
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper’s Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
BONAPARTE’S GULL- 6, new species for the count
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull -CW
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Eastern Screech-owl – 2
Great Horned Owl – 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Black-capped Chickadee – record lows
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
American Tree Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

Participants: (Renee Davis, Arlene Borko, Marge Gorton), (John Haas, Lance Verderame), (Patrick Dechon, Valerie Freer, Mary Collier), (Ken and Barbara Schmidt), (Scott Baldinger, Deb Powell, Lee Hunter, Marlena Long, Mark Diedrich), (Ed and Kathy Scullion), (Ruth Shurskey and Ruth McKeon).

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2 Responses to The Sullivan County Christmas Bird Count – preliminary report

  1. Truth Muller says:

    I just got the report for my team (Rock Hill Area, with Patrick Dechon, Truth & Maura Muller), We had 30 species, Including Belted Kingfisher. Highlights were mostly really great looks at individual birds, including Red-shouldered Hawk (On somebody’s mailbox post right next to our car) Pileated woodpecker (got within 20 feet of it while it was on the bottom of a tree) Hooded Merganser (just a particularly pretty male, on Neversink) and four Bald Eagles, all adults (Three of which flew over in a row to start our day at Holiday Mountain). Nothing stellar, but not bad.

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