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7th Annual NYUD CBC – December 27, 2017

The seventh annual Ulster/Dutchess (NYUD) Christmas Bird Count was conducted on Wednesday, December 27th, 2017.  We’ve been fortunate, for continuity sake, to hold this count within a three day window from 12/26-12/28. 41 birders in 14 field parties along with two feeder watchers observed a new high total of 95 species (+2 cw species) for the NYUD CBC.  The 20,792 individual birds counted were nearly 3000 more than our average for the previous six counts and represented our second highest total (23,039 in 2011). Of the species that have appeared three or more years on this count seventeen species were recorded at a new high number and six species at a new low total.  To illustrate how complete a team effort this year’s count was an outstanding seven species were added to our composite NYUD list from seven different sectors!  This raised our composite total after seven counts to 120 species. Exceptional finds included a soaring Golden Eagle in Sector E, a vocalizing Long-eared Owl in Sector G, an unexpected Red-headed Woodpecker in Sector J, two cooperative Lapland Longspurs in Sector D, and a female White-winged Scoter in Sector F.  Two species, a House Wren in Sector B and an Iceland Gull in Sector I moved from “CW” historical status to join us on count day.

Temperatures ranged from 2 degrees at 6:00 a.m. (having dropped from 8 degrees at the start of our nocturnal effort at 4:00 a.m.) to a balmy 26 degrees mid-day.  Luckily diurnal birders basked in a sun-filled day with calm winds.  Standing bodies of water were iced over but the Hudson and it’s tributaries within the circle remained open and definitely helped field parties locate a very respectable 16 species of waterfowl.  Three inches of a powdery snow cover was rare for the NYUD and surely helped to consolidate sparrows roadside and maybe even aid in our record number of Snow Buntings.

Follow this link for the full report including participants and a table of count results. A big “thank you” as always to Steve Chorvas for inputting and arranging all the data for this count and to all those who cooked, baked, and cleaned up to lessen the load for my now very pregnant wife.  Also a special thanks to Dave Hayes for providing a beautiful facelift to our sector maps.  Finally, to all those in the field (as listed below) congratulations and thank you on our most productive and successful count yet.  Included with participants are notable bird species from each sector.

Best regards and hopes for a bird-filled New Year,
Mark DeDea
Co-compiler NYUD CBC

SAVE THE DATE – Next year’s Ulster/Dutchess CBC is scheduled for Saturday, December 28, 2018.