2020 CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNTS This year marks the 121st Christmas Bird Count sponsored by the National Audubon Society. Here are the results!
Louisville CBC - It was a somewhat disappointing total of 84 species, with three of those pending review. Highlights included a Tennessee Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, and Swainson's Thrush. We ran the table on woodpeckers and owls, and had good numbers for all the normal bird feeder species (we had no siskins, despite this being a strong irruption year; siskins can hardly be described as a "normal" occurrence most years), and had three Purple Finches. We only missed Fox and Savannah of the sparrows. Another delight was - count `em - eight Merlins. They were observed in six of the nine count circle sections - two of which had 2 Merlins! Duck diversity was a little low; we missed Wood, Black, Pintail, Bufflehead, Goldeneye, and Ruddy. Hooded was the only Merganser this year. With all the Sandhill Cranes flying by the week of the count, it was a shame to have missed them on count day. Other water-bird misses were Common Loon and American Coot. Ring-billed was the only gull species observed. The big surprise in this year's CBC was the near absence of blackbirds. We had only 110 Red-Wingeds, 100 of which I saw on my way home, at a new hotspot I visited for the first time. The other ten birds were scattered through four other sections of the count circle. No cowbirds, grackles, or Rustys. Nonetheless, we had a great turnout of birders on December 20 practicing safe and healthy COVID guidelines - for that and your strong efforts in the field, Thank You all very much! James A. Wheat KYLO Compiler
Otter Creek CBC- The Otter Creek CBC was conducted on December 26. Seven participants in 6 parties, braved, not the snowiest, but certainly one of the coldest counts in recent memory, starting out at 15 degrees and maybe getting into the low 40's, with an occasionally light wind and no discernible precipitation. I believe we ended up with 74 species, and 3 count week species, with the biggest highlight on the count that almost never was being 5 reported shrikes, probably representing at least 4 individuals based on time and location. Other highlights were American Black Duck, Eurasian Collared-Doves, a single American Coot, I think 6 Red-headed Woodpeckers, a decent showing of Phoebes, Brown Thrashers, I feel a good number of Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 3 Brewer's Blackbirds, 2 Palm Warblers, all the expected sparrows. Misses were some common waterfowl (often missed on this count), House Wren, which it should have been a good year for, Pine Warbler, siskin, a few blackbird species, and no owls detected. Thank you to Brainard Palmer-Ball, James Wheat, Barbara Woerner, Meg and Steve Brown, and Asher Higgins who came all the way from Somerset to help us out; a truly collaborative effort. You made this a success. Good Birding, Michael Autin, Compiler