[va-bird] Walkerton CBC results, Jan 2, 2005

Happy New Year!
Twenty-two observers in 10 parties participated
in the Walkerton CBC on Sunday January 2, 2005. 
The weather was fine (cloudy, in the 40s and 50s)
but the birds were often hard to find.  Despite
that fact, this group of cracker-jack birders
broke our record, finding 103 species for the
day.  Short-billed Dowitcher, 200 Dunlin, Great
Black-backed Gull, and Common Yellowthroat were
all new birds for the count circle which is in
its 11th modern year.  Other birds rarely seen
here were a snow goose in Walkerton, 12 Purple
finches in Aylett, Cohoke, and along the
Mattaponi River, 2 Blue-winged teal in marshes
along the Pamunkey River, merlin in Cohoke,
studied for several minutes by my students in the
spotting scope, 38 least sandpipers along the
Pamunkey, 2 house wrens in Cohoke, and 13 rusty
blackbirds in Walkerton and along the Mattaponi
River. Surprising misses were red-breasted
nuthatch and catbird.  Only one pipit was seen. 
The golden eagle we had seen in three of the last
four years did not reappear this year. Four
waterfowl species were fewer than normal (wood
duck, green-winged teal, mallard, black duck). 
Other low numbers were 6 bobwhite (two
locations), only one red-headed woodpecker
(previous average was 12, with a range of 2-33),
and only 28 cedar waxwing, our second lowest
ever, with a previous average of 390, perhaps
reflecting the low numbers of berries. In
addition, we tallied record-breaking numbers of
lesser scaup (19), bufflehead (98),  black
vulture (205, with 108 in one roost along the
Pamunkey), bald eagle (47: 38 adult, 9 immature),
harrier (10), snipe (137), woodcock (14, with 11
calling at dusk at Sandy Point state forest),
ring-billed gull (939), rock pigeon (27), eastern
screech owl (8), belted kingfisher (43), hairy
woodpecker (34), horned lark (104, with 100 of
them in one flock in New Kent), American crow
(797), white-breasted nuthatch (58), brown
creeper (20),  winter wren (27), golden crowned
kinglet (98), pine warbler (5), cardinal (493),
savannah sparrow (72, with 65 in one wet field in
Cohoke), song sparrow (472), swamp sparrow (93),
red-winged blackbird (10036), goldfinch (269),
and house sparrow (78).

This is a great region of the state that is very
underbirded.  I hope some of you will decide to
join us next year.  If anyone wants a more
detailed list I can send you an excel spreadsheet
as an attachment.

I hope you all have a great year, full of
wonderful times enjoying birds with good friends.

Fred

=====
Frederick D. Atwood     fredatwood@xxxxxxxxx
Flint Hill School, 10409 Academic Dr, Oakton, VA 22124
703-242-1675     
http://www.agpix.com/fredatwood
http://www.flinthill.org
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