For the fourth year now the Birdfreak Team has run the Rock Cut Christmas Bird Count. We started the count in 2008 and each year we have attempted to refine where we send counting parties.
The Birdfreak Team took a couple good-sized preserves and also checked Rock Cut State Park briefly (to assist a team there). Here are some of our findings. We will have a full report once all the data is collected from the other teams.
The weather was chilly but no precipitation and absolutely no snow cover (a first for the count). We hiked for several hours and drove only a short while (to the other locations).
Our team recorded 30 species and 469 individual birds. Diversity was definitely up but numbers down.
Our areas didn’t really have water like some other parts of the circle so waterfowl numbers (geese and ducks) should increase our species and total birds.
The best bird for our group was one of the first ones we saw: a Northern Shrike!
Later in the day we were informed of a wonderful sighting of a Golden Eagle from a party not “officially” on the count but in our circle. This is a great find for this still young count.