[Bristol-Birds] summer bird counts

  • From: "Richard Knight" <rknight8@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "bristol-birds" <bristol-birds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "tn-bird" <tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 16 Jun 2015 16:17:32 -0400

The Lee & Lois Herndon Chapter of TOS (Elizabethton) recently held
two summer bird counts. While additional counts in spring, fall, and at
Christmas provide data on seasonal bird populations, summer is the
most important season for the majority of species. It's breeding season;
the only time their numbers can increase (not just shift locations).

Although Great Horned Owls have long since fledged and American
Goldfinches likely have not begun nesting, most species are actively
engaged in reproduction.

Thus, we (chapter members) conduct a summer count to supplement
other monitoring activities. The Breeding Bird Atlas in Tennessee was
run 1986-1991 and apparently won't be repeated anytime soon. The
Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) is a localized survey that is very useful, but
with biases (limited to roadsides, often misses some habitats).
Not knocking either, just supplementing them.

Anyway ....

The 22nd annual Carter County summer count was held 13 June with 16
observers in 5 parties. We found 116 species. This is slightly above
the average of 113 species over the previous 21 years (range 105-121).

Highlights:
Com. Merganser - 1 female, lingering since spring (1st local June record)
Com. Loon - 1, an obvious non-breeding visitor
Dbl-cr. Cormorant - 4, near a new nesting site
Yellow-cr. Night-Heron - 3
Eur. Collared-Dove - 2, still limited numbers & distribution in East Tenn.
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - 1, low density breeder in mountains
Alder Flycatcher - 3
Least Flycatcher - 2
Warbling Vireo - 1
Com. Raven - 15
Cliff Swallow - 317, most numerous swallow, rapidly increasing population
Red-br. Nuthatch - 10
Brown Creeper - 3
Winter Wren - 9
Golden-cr. Kinglet - 7
Veery - 33
Hermit Thrush - 4
21 species of warblers
Golden-wg. Warbler - 4
Swainson's Warbler - 3
Magnolia Warbler - 2
Blackburnian Warbler - 1
Black-thr. Blue Warbler - 43
Canada Warbler - 27
Vesper Sparrow - 2


Last year we began a new summer count to gather data on an
underbirded area.

The 2nd annual Unicoi County summer count was held 6 June with 15 observers
in 5 parties. We found 110 species. Last year we had 111 species.

Highlights:
Ring-nk. Duck - 1, lingering non-breeder
Ruffed Grouse - 2
Bald Eagle - 1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - 1
Least Flycatcher - 10
Warbling Vireo - 2
Com. Raven - 3
Red-br. Nuthatch - 6
Winter Wren - 3
Golden-cr. Kinglet - 5
Veery - 26
Hermit Thrush - 2
21 species of warblers
Golden-wg. Warbler - 2
Swainson's Warbler - 3
Magnolia Warbler - 8
Blackburnian Warbler - 3
Black-thr. Blue Warbler - 21
Canada Warbler - 17
Red Crossbill - 15
Pine Siskin - 1

Participants (on one or both counts):
Jim Anderson, Rob Armistead, Rob Biller, Monica Black, Rick Blanton,
Jay & Deb Campbell, Ron Carrico, Glen Eller, Harry Lee Farthing, Jacki Hinshaw,
Rick Knight, Richard Lewis, Joe McGuiness, Tom & Cathy McNeil, Charles Moore,
Brookie & Jean Potter, Peter Range, Bryan Stevens, Peggy Stevens, Kim Stroud,
Mary Anna Wheat. Plus an incidental observation from Adam Campbell.

Thanks to all participants.

Rick Knight, compiler
Johnson City, TN

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