On that note, I joined my friend and expert birder Charlie Barnard this past Sunday for his section of the Westport CBC, the Fairfield shoreline. Several more friends came along for parts of the count as well, though between the cloudy, rainy, windy, foggy, wavy conditions and some of us fighting off viruses, we knew it would be one of the tougher days to get the count up. We hoped to near 50 species in the area, with around double that being the number the entire circle should arrive at in a decent year. Charlie had given us a bump for the count week at least as he had found a Razorbill the day before (more on them in an upcoming post!).
I think we did about as well as we could. As many of you know the little birds - passerines that visit your feeders and the like - dislike very windy or wet conditions, and we had both going for most of the time.
These Sanderling didn't mind the weather
We came up with 48 species plus two for the count week. The alcid was not to be on Sunday as visibility on the coastline was limited to a half mile or a quarter mile at times with large rolling waves obscuring anything that was not in flight and caught up by the wind. That Razorbill and a Sharp-shinned Hawk were the count week birds plus these that we found on Sunday:
American Black Duck
Great Blue Heron
Great Black-backed Gull
American Tree Sparrow
Barred Owls were found in two locations, an unsurprising but cool discovery given their movements this fall (once again more in an upcoming post!). Fox Sparrows are always terrific finds and a favorite of mine, and the Brown Thrasher is a good bird to tick off as well. The Brown Creeper was a pleasant surprise considering their scarcity and our coastal habitats, and Winter Wrens came up in a few spots in a relatively warm and snow-free December. Last year we actually had multiple warblers, but that was not to be this time around. Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable day and I am looking forward to next weekend's Stratford-Milford count. Join any Christmas Bird Count you can to help further bird conservation, sharpen your skills, and make some new friends.
Photo by Scott Kruitbosch © Connecticut Audubon Society and not to be reproduced without explicit CAS permission