[Tweeters] Cle Elum CBC results

Michael Hobbs birdmarymoor at frontier.com
Tue Dec 16 16:38:30 PST 2014

We had a good, if rather unusual 10th Cle Elum Christmas Bird Count. With the complete lack of snow, we had access to every road and trail in the count circle. But perhaps because of the lack of wintry weather, the birds may not have moved down from northern latitudes and/or high elevations yet. In any case, we had FEWER total birds than average (3224 vs. 3574 average), and only matched our average number of species seen at 68. Sparrows and finches were especially scarce.

We did find three species never before recorded on our Christmas Bird Count: Two SHORT-EARED OWLS near the Swauk Grange, a PEREGRINE FALCON seen from the Iron Horse trail, and three ROCK WRENS seen on Swauk Ranch (private access). Short-eared Owls and Peregrine Falcons are not common any time in Kittitas County. Rock Wrens are seen regularly in summer, but they usually migrate south for the winter. We’ve now seen 106 species cumulatively on the count.

Other notable birds included 2 TRUMPETER SWANS along I-90, and a RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER, I believe on Bettas Rd. And there were about 40 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS in the trees near the barbecue restaurant in South Cle Elum (follow the signs).

High counts were noted for Green-winged Teal (+9 to 18), Bufflehead (+9 to 37), Red-tailed Hawk (+13 to 80), Eurasian Collared-Dove (+29 to 71), Hairy Woodpecker (tied high count of 13), White-headed Woodpecker (tied at 3), Pileated Woodpecker (+1 to 5), American Kestrel (tied at 14), and Brown Creeper (tied at 13).

We had some notable misses: American Robin, Cedar Waxwing, and Red Crossbill. It’s the first time we’ve missed American Robin, though on 5 counts we’ve had three or fewer during the previous 9 counts.

So far, we’ve had two additional Count Week species: Golden Eagle and Evening Grosbeak.

MANY THANKS to the 23 participants!

== Michael Hobbs
== www.marymoor.org/birding.htm
== BirdMarymoor at frontier.com

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