The Catskill-Coxsackie CBC was held on Thursday, December 19th instead of the historical first Tuesday of the count period, Dec 17th, due to the snowy and icy conditions on that day. It was the right decision to postpone for a couple of days.
All the territories were covered, thanks to the “regular participants” availability and some last minute stand-ins for a couple of territories.
The species count was a little lower than average at 61 species, but the overall number of birds was 13,399 – almost twice the number from last year’s low of 7,657. Weather conditions were similar this season to last, with an early large snowfall and unusually early extreme cold temps.
Like last year, waterfowl species and numbers were lower than average with only the hardiest of birds around – Mallard, Black Duck, Common Merganser, and Canada Goose were represented. A couple of CW duck species were tallied – Bufflehead and Hooded Merganser.
A few oddities/rarities/better than half-hardies were tallied. 2 Hermit Thrushes and an almost breeding-plumage-bright Chipping Sparrow were seen.
Bald Eagles, 48 tallied was on the higher end for the area. Over the last decade, their numbers ranged from a low of 6 in 2009 to a high of 67 in 2018.
An modest increase was the number of Black Vultures tallied, at 6, over the previous year’s 5 birds.
Thanks to everyone who participated. And thanks to Red’s Restaurant – they, too, were flexible in moving our compilation dinner from Tuesday to Thursday.
Happy Holidays and here’s to a Healthy, Happy, and Birdy New Year.
P.S. Don’t forget to participate in the Breeding Bird Atlas Project!