Today, 12/27/17, Arlene Borko and I braved the frigid weather to participate in the Sullivan County CBC. We started at the Rio Reservoir at 7 am at exactly ZERO degrees! Most of the water was frozen, but what remained open was steaming. We traveled a total of 90 miles in our seven hours out. There was between 3 and 4 inches of snow on the ground. We had a pretty good day, tallying 32 species with 871 individuals. This count was an unusual one in that common species were nearly absent and uncommon species were abundant. For example, Common Merganser that is one of our regular species occurring in good numbers, were nearly absent. It took four visits to the Rio Reservoir before we found the only two at the end of the day. Likewise, Chickadees that are normally one of our highest count species came in at only 23 individuals, an all time low count. Downy Woodpeckers (three seen just yesterday) were complete no shows the entire day. Other species, like White-throated Sparrow, normally only gotten in ones and twos and often missed altogether, came in with 93 individuals! A single Fox Sparrow today was a first for the count! Dark-eyed Juncos, the species in the highest numbers came in with 397 individuals. Bald Eagle numbers were about average, with 27 individuals seen, 19 Adults and 8 Immatures. A nice surprise in a finch-less winter were 6 Purple Finches, four males and two females. One disappointing miss was Brown Thrasher. This species would have been a first on the count, but it was a no show. The bird has been present for at least a week and was last seen just yesterday. At least it was good for the count week period. All in all it was a good day. I think we’ll probably thaw out by spring!