The PI CBC is the northern-most count in the eastern US and this was the 51st time the count has been run.
35 species were found during the day, which was right on the 10 year average for this count. Highlights included some count-firsts: the overdue Sharp-shinned Hawk and an unexpected Merlin. Sharp-shins have shown up as Count Week species in the past, but until Saturday, it was not found during an actual count day. We also found our second-ever Cooper's Hawk which is not unexpected considering this species continued expansion in the region.
Notable high counts were record numbers of Bald Eagles, Blue Jays and Bohemian Waxwings. Even with some conservative editing to avoid duplicate observations of the same individuals, the final tally of 11 eagles shattered the previous high of 3. All sightings were 4th year or mature birds. Even through the heavy snowfall, Paul Cyr was able to get a shot of this eagle eyeing the ducks in the Presque Isle waste water treatment plant.
Other noteworthy finds on the count were Common Merganser, Snowy Owl, Song Sparrow and Common Grackle. Among the missing were White-breasted Nuthatch, Purple Finch and any gull species. A Canada Goose seen during the count week was not found during the count.
All observers commented that generally the woods and fields were very quiet and most sightings were made around feeders and in town locations. The cone crop this year is spotty at best and the last of the fruit is being gobbled up by the waxwings.
In addition to the recent and widespread invasion of Bohemian Waxwings, Evening and Pine Grosbeaks both made good showings. Four Northern Shrikes made for the second highest count ever.
Thanks to the field observers, feeder watchers and the Griffiths for hosting the post-count potluck and tally!
Here's the (unofficial) numbers:
|Am. Black Duck||56|
|Mallard x Am. Black Duck hyb||1|
|American Tree Sparrow||10|