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6th Annual NYUD CBC – December 28, 2016

The Ulster/Dutchess (NYUD) Christmas Bird Count was conducted on Wednesday, December 28 2016 and celebrated it’s 6th anniversary. Conditions were moderate to favorable for the 45 birders in 13 field parties and two feeder watchers covering the NYUD’s ten sectors who contributed to this year’s count. 16,076 individual birds representing 80 species were identified on count day plus five count week species. The 80 species tallied resulted in our second lowest effort (78 species in 2013; 85 species average on previous five counts) and the individuals number fell below the average (18,314 on previous five counts).

The temperatures hovered around freezing at the start of our nocturnal effort with a few random snow flakes falling. When the sun did peer out through the mostly cloudy skies temperatures closed in on forty degrees mid-day. Snow cover was no more than a few inches and that was limited to sheltered and/or shaded areas within the CBC circle. The existence of ice was a bit more challenging and even kept those of us nursing broken ribs out of certain trails. The Hudson River was open and still while smaller bodies of water where iced over. River tributaries where open in faster moving portions.

One species, a Palm Warbler in Sector D was documented on the NYUD checklist for the first time this year. With this addition the NYUD CBC composite is now at 120 species after six years. Other notable observations included 8 Merlins, 17 Eastern Screech Owls, and a Rusty Blackbird in Sector G. Another positive note was the healthy presence of Sharp-shinned Hawks which matched their bigger cousins on count day with 14. Although no real rarity occurred on count day a high number for 13 species was a pleasant result. Disappointingly no winter finches made an appearance on count day or during the count week period. All parties also noticed sparrow numbers to be markedly lower than in previous counts without any “special” sparrow showing on count day. Count Week birds this year included Wood Duck, Lesser Scaup, Double-crested Cormorant, Peregrine Falcon, and Chipping Sparrow.

Follow this link for the full report including participants and a table of count results. Thanks again to all the participants who helped make this year’s NYUD CBC another successful day in the field and a special thanks again to Steve Chorvas for the mentoring, data input, and organizing skills. Thanks also to all those who brought along food and drink to another well-attended compilation at the Hasbrouck Park stone building in Kingston especially my wife Kyla Haber who tended to an ailing husband, battled her own illness, and cooked a whole boat load of food. Best regards and hopes for a bird-filled New Year, Mark DeDea co-compiler NYUD CBC

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 Wednesday, December 27, 2017.