Dec 20, 2008

Christmas Bird Count 2008

Once again, I was part of the Christmas Bird Count this year. A friend and I have done this for years now. Our current area is in southern Bloomington (bounded by I-35W and France Ave. from east to west and by Old Shakopee Road to the Minnesota River north to south).

We had a very snowy day for counting birds, but did alright despite the poor conditions. The only truly birdy area in our count zone is Nine-Mile Creek park. This year we had no open water and already plenty of snow on the ground. Surprisingly, every year we pound out a bunch of Robins in Nine-Mile Creek park. We also got the usual assortment of Downy, Hairy and Red-bellied woodpeckers, a bag full of chickadees, etc. Last year we got a Barred owl and we were very pleased to find him (or perhaps, her) again this year as well.

After a couple of hours of work, we swung down to Black Dog Lake to try and find some good gulls. Hands down, the birding at Black Dog was the best of the day - we were rewarded with nice views of a Rough-legged hawk, a Glaucus gull (that's the first time I have been confident in my I.D. of one of these guys), a probable Thayer's gull, a Pelican, and a bunch of assorted Mergansers. Black Dog is not in our CBC area, so we can't truly count these, but we'll make these "good birds" get in to the data in case they got missed by the group that had Black Dog Lake (possible, but not likely that they would be missed).

EDIT - Scott sent me our tally for the day, so here it is:

2008 Christmas Bird Count Tally

Hairy Woodpecker – 5

Downy Woodpecker – 14

Chickadee – 58

American Robin – 42

Mallard – 47

Blue Jay – 3

American Goldfinch – 28

Red-tailed Hawk – 2

American Crow – 10

Starling – 5

White breasted Nuthatch – 14

Brown creeper – 1

Northern Cardinal – 17

American Tree Sparrow – 23

Barred owl – 1

Dark-eyed junco – 3

Along Black Dog Road

Glaucous Gull – 1

Thayer’s Gull – 1

American White Pelican – 1

Hooded Mergansers – 11

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