[Tweeters] Summary report of Eastside Audubon's CBC on 12/20/14

Sharon Cormier-Aagaard scormieraa001 at hotmail.com
Tue Dec 23 16:31:23 PST 2014

Hi Tweets,

Eastside Audubon held its 31st CBC since 1981 (there were no
counts in 1982, 1983 and 1989) on Saturday, December 20, 2014. We had mostly steady rain/mist/drizzle all
day, winds ranged from low to gusty depending on the area, with temps 45-48F.

Overall, there were
97 species seen on “count day” (this is a record for us; previous high
count of 95 was in 2011), plus 13 “count
week” birds (species seen 3 days before and 3 days after, but not on, Dec
20), totaling 110 species, thus far
(previous high count of 97 in 2011 and 2012). The “count week” birds are: Gyrfalcon, Common Loon, American Bittern, Great-horned
Owl, Canvasback, Greater White-fronted Goose, Green Heron, California Quail,
Northern Shrike, Barn Swallow, Turkey Vulture, Cedar Waxwing, and Eurasian
Wigeon. The total number of birds seen on
Dec 20 was 17,726. The average is about
15,000, and the highest count ever was 28,674 in 1999.

Four new species
added to the all-time Eastside CBC list

1 Golden Eagle seen count day by the West Snoqualmie group, 30
Eurasian-collared Doves seen count day by the East Snoqualmie team, 1 Turkey
Vulture seen count week on 12/19, and 1 Gyrfalcon also seen count week on 12/22
at Sikes Lake, Carnation.

3 Owls seen

1 Barn Owl and 2 Short-eared Owls, on “count day” pre-dawn
in the large meadow just south of the boat launch at Lake Sammamish State Park. During count week: Great-horned Owl in a Sammamish neighborhood.

Species seen every
year in the past 15 years

Red-winged Blackbird, Bufflehead, Bushtit, Black-capped
Chickadee, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, American Coot, Double-crested Cormorant,
Brown Creeper, American Crow, Ring-necked Duck, Bald Eagle, House Finch,
Northern Flicker, Gadwall, Common Golden-eye, American Goldfinch, Canada Goose,
Pied-billed Grebe, Western Grebe, Ring-billed Gull, Glaucous-winged Gull, Mew
Gull, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Great-blue Heron, Steller’s Jay,
Dark-eyed Junco, Killdeer, Belted Kingfisher, Golden-crowned Kinglet,
Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Mallard, Common Merganser, Hooded Merganser, Red-breasted
Nuthatch, Rock Pigeon, Common Raven, American Robin, Lesser Scaup, Northern
Shoveler, Fox Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Song Sparrow, House Sparrow,
White-crowned Sparrow, European Starling, Green-winged Teal, Varied Thrush,
Spotted Towhee, American Wigeon, Downy, Hairy and Pileated Woodpeckers,
Bewick’s, Marsh and Pacific Wrens.

Species missed this

Spotted Sandpiper – seen 8 out of the past 15 years.

Mourning Dove – seen 11 out of the past 15 years.

High Counts, Compared
to the last 15 years (2000 to 2014):

Red Crossbills – 68, the second highest to 81 seen in 2012;
average is 35

Ruddy Duck – 88, the highest count ever, average is 22

Purple Finch – 83, the highest count ever, average is 22

Northern Flicker – 95, second highest count since 101 in
2009, average is 70

Cackling Goose – 4924, compared to just over 5000 seen in
2012 and 2013; this is the third highest count since we first saw this species
in 2005; average is 2049

Anna’s Hummingbird – 46, the highest count ever; average is

Steller’s Jay – 125 second highest count since 126 in 2013;
average is 95

Dark-eyed Junco – a high count of 963, average is 557

Band-tailed Pigeon – 30 at one feeder is our highest count
ever; average is 12

Greater Scaup – a high count of 23; average is 10

Hermit Thrush – a high count of 6; average is 3

Low Counts, Compared
to the last 15 years (2000 to 2014):

Ring-necked Duck – 57, average is 94

Canada Goose – 336, lowest count in 15 years (highest count
of 2534 in 2003), average is 1600

Greater White-fronted Goose – none seen on count day and one
seen during count week; average is 7, with a high count of 20 in 2009

Horned Grebe – 3, average is 6

Ring-billed Gull – 34, average is 96

Red-tailed Hawk – 27, average is 42

Rock Pigeon – 39, lowest count in 15 years (highest count of
466 in 2006), average is 155

California Quail – none seen since 2010 nor on “count day”;
however, several came to a feeder in Sammamish during “count week”, average is

Lesser Scaup – 6, average is 22

Pine Siskin – after only 1 bird reported in 2013, this
year’s 457 seems large; however, the average is 726

House Sparrow – 36, average is 69

Trumpeter Swan – 72, average is 106

Worthy Mentions:

Turkey Vulture – flying near the boat launch at Lake
Sammamish State Park on 12/19, first sighting for the count circle

Northern Saw-whet Owl – heard and seen by Matt at Marymoor several
times in the weeks leading up to our CBC, but didn’t occur on count day, nor
during count week.

Short-eared Owl – 2 at Lake Sammamish on count day and only
seen 3 times in the past 15 years.

American Pipit – 1 seen by the East Snoqualmie team; third
time in 15 years.

Redhead – about 6 showed up at the Lake Sammamish boat
launch in mid-December and haven’t been reported since. Seen only twice in the past 15 years.

American Bittern – 1 during count week seen at Snoqualmie
Valley; seen just 3 times in the past 15 years.

Mountain Chickadee – 1 seen by the East Snoqualmie team;
seen just 3 times in the past 15

Green Heron – 1 at Marymoor Park during count week; this
species has been seen 50% of the time in last 15 years

Savannah Sparrow – 3 seen by the West Snoqualmie team – seen
5 times in the past 15 years.

Brown-headed Cowbirds – 5 were seen by the East Snoqualmie
team (highest count ever – mostly ones and twos in previous years) – seen 6
times in the past 15 years.

Barn Swallow – sighted over the east meadow at Marymoor
during count week; seen just twice in the past 15 years.

Tundra Swan – 4 seen by the East Snoqualmie team; seen 4
times in the past 15 years.

White-throated Sparrow – 1 at Lake Hills Greenbelt, seen 67%
of the time

Western Gull – 1 at Pine Lakes, seen 50% of the time

There were 53 people out in the field counting birds in our CBC
circle on Dec 20, with a few at home doing a backyard count. HUGE thanks to the bird counters; the
volunteers who organized, shopped, cooked and helped with the delicious dinner
afterwards; the Corvid Crier webmaster, editor and article writers; EAS office
staff, and to everyone else involved in this important, annual event!

A complete list of birds recorded by Eastside Audubon on the
2014 CBC, or on any CBC since 1981, is available by email from Sharon Aagaard, scormieraa001 at hotmail.com

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