Christmas Bird Count 1 – New Canaan

15 12 2008
New Canaan Reservoir

New Canaan Reservoir

I arrived bight and early pre-dawn to hit the New Canaan portion of the Stamford/Greenwich Xmas Bird Count. The day got off to a flying start. As I scanned through a group of gulls sitting on the ice, they suddenly all flushed drawing my attention to a beautiful adult Bald Eagle that was flying the length of the reservoir towards me. It perched on a nearby island and would have provided the opportunity for a great digiscoped shot had it not been for my camera deciding it was way too cold to operate!

The reservoir is a beautiful spot and I soon tallied a good number (but surprisingly small variety) of waterfowl. I then met up with my co-CBC’ers for the day. Elsbeth has been doing this count for many years and recalls the time when Ruffed Grouse and Evening Grosbeak were not just a CT Xmas bird counters dream (conversely of course there were no eagles at that time thanks to the killer influence of DDT) and Melody a enthusiastic beginner birder. We hit a good number of spots on the day and worked hard for our birds, grabbing just a quick sandwich lunch at New Canaan Nature Center.

It was a fun but exhausting day in the field which culminated with 44 species of bird. It’s always amazing what birds can be missed during these kind of count situations but even I was shocked to realize that I didn’t have an American Robin on the day until one chattered up a warning as I crept out of the reservoir in the near dark.

Birds and Numbers on the day:

Canada Goose (83), Mallard (103), American Black Duck (87), Ring-neck Duck (12), Bufflehead (3), Common Merganser (287), Hooded Merganser (16), Ruddy Duck (48), Turkey Vulture (7), Bald Eagle (1), Sharp-shinned Hawk (1), Red-tailed Hawk (7), Wild Turkey (4), Ring-billed Gull (15), Herring Gull (2), Great Black-backed Gull (2), Mourning Dove (5), Belted Kingfisher (1), Red-bellied Woodpecker (5), Northern Flicker (2), Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (1), Downy Woodpecker (7), Hairy Woodpecker (1), Blue Jay (7), American Crow (191), Tufted Titmouse (31), Black-capped Chickadee (28), Brown Creeper (1), White-breasted Nuthatch (9), Winter Wren (1), Carolina Wren (7), Golden-crowned Kinglet (1), Eastern Bluebird (4), Hermit Thrush (2), American Robin (1), Northern Mockingbird (2), Cedar Waxwing (3), Song Sparrow (13), White-throated Sparrow (39), Dark-eyed Junco (47), Northern Cardinal (16), American Goldfinch (21) House Sparrow (10)

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2 responses

16 12 2008
Brian

Bald Vulture? Wow, you got the bird of the count!!!!

16 12 2008
underclearskies

Good catch. In fact all the vultures we saw were bald, or at least receding 😉 Had been a bit of a long day and I was multitasking – well that’s my excuse.

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