Saturday, December 31, 2005

CBC: Raritan Estuary

This morning and afternoon I participated in my third Christmas Bird Count of 2005 - the Raritan Estuary Bird Count in central New Jersey. For this count I was birding with my mother and sister; we covered areas along the Raritan River near where I grew up. We were a little sparse on the ground, especially compared to the Washington, DC, bird count. Plus we were working against the threat of bad weather in the afternoon. But we managed to complete our four-mile sector before the rains fell.

There were fewer species in our sector this year than last year, but more individuals. Unfortunately we missed winter wren and both kinglets; chickadees also were hardly to be found. Some highlights included great cormorants (uncommon inland), peregrine falcon, common goldeneye, yellow-bellied sapsucker, and brown creeper.

Species Number
Great Cormorant 5
Double-crested Cormorant 5
Great Blue Heron 1
Turkey Vulture 5
Canada Goose 1518
American Black Duck 1
Mallard 289
Common Goldeneye 3
Common Merganser 23
Cooper's Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 2
Peregrine Falcon 1
Killdeer 2
Ring-billed Gull 121
Herring Gull 165
Great Black-backed Gull 37
Gull sp. 380
Rock Pigeon 24
Mourning Dove 119
Belted Kingfisher 4
Red-bellied Woodpecker 17
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1
Downy Woodpecker 11
Northern Flicker 9
Blue Jay 107
American Crow 51
Black-capped Chickadee 1
Tufted Titmouse 22
White-breasted Nuthatch 5
Brown Creeper 2
Carolina Wren 4
American Robin 356
Northern Mockingbird 3
European Starling 405
Song Sparrow 27
White-throated Sparrow 76
Dark-eyed Junco 122
Northern Cardinal 30
Red-winged Blackbird 1
House Finch 29
American Goldfinch 24
House Sparrow 90
Number of Species 41
Number of Individuals 4100

And Happy New Year to all!