I started the Rock Cut Christmas Bird Count three seasons ago. This year we had large preserved lands CLOSED due to hunting so we were limited. However, the main location of Rock Cut State Park was open and well-covered.
Here are the highlights!
We counted 1,072 birds of 32 species. Of these there were 47 American Robins and 94 Cedar Waxwings that were feasting on berries. We did not have hardly any open water so waterfowl was disappointing.
Raptors were also fairly low but we did get 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks and 3 Bald Eagles. We did have one owl species, 2 Great-horned Owls.
Our teams found 7 Eastern Bluebirds, 1 lone Song Sparrow, and 24 Horned Larks. Brown Creepers (2) and Red-breasted Nuthatches (1) were decidedly low.
Unfortunately, our species totals and numbers has gone down each year.
Year 1 – 47 species, 11,952 birds
Year 2 – 44 species, 3,637 birds
Year 3 – 32 species, 1,072 birds
Note: Our first year we counted a LOT of Canada Geese which inflated the numbers.
Hopefully next year the weather will be warmer, I’ll be able to scout more ahead of time, and we’ll have more areas open for counting!
Sorry no photos. Too cold and not enough hands to find birds, record them, and photograph them.