[Tweeters] 12/17/16 CBC report for Eastside Audubon

Sharon Cormier-Aagaard scormieraa001 at hotmail.com
Tue Dec 27 20:21:17 PST 2016

Eastside Audubon Society (EAS) held its 33rd CBC since 1981 on Saturday, December 17, 2016 (there were no counts in 1982, 1983 and 1989). We had light snow in the early hours, temperatures ranged from 22-34F, winds were mild at 0-5 mph, skies were cloudy to partly cloudy/sunny, and our ponds were frozen/partially frozen, and rivers were flowing.

Overall, there were 105 species seen on “count day”. This beats the previous high of 97 in 2014. Plus, we had an additional 4 “count week” birds (species reported 3 days before or 3 days after, but not on Dec 17), for a grand total of 109 species for this year’s CBC……just one bird shy of our highest count of 110 total birds in 2014. The number of individual birds seen on Dec 17 was 19,699, about 4,000 birds higher than both last year and the 15yr average. The highest individual count ever was 28,674 birds in 1999.

Count Week Birds: Rough-legged Hawk, Sikes Lake 12/14; Snow Goose, Marymoor 12/16; Bohemian Waxwing, Carnation 12/16; Band-tailed Pigeon, Bellevue 12/16

5 Owl Species: 1 Barn Owl (Evans Creek Marsh), 1 Western Screech-Owl (Sammamish), 2 Great Horned Owls (Evans Creek Marsh), 2 Barred Owls (Issaquah) and 4 Northern Saw-whet Owls (3 at Tiger Mountain, 1 at Marymoor).

New to our CBC: 2 Western Sandpipers at Lake Sammamish State Park, and 3 Bohemian Waxwings reported during Count Week

Species missed this year:
Gray Jay – Gene Hunn first reported this species at the top of Tiger Mountain during our 2007 CBC. When Gene moved to California, Scott Ramos stepped in to continue the tradition of solo hiking to the top for the Jays, owls, and other winter forest birds. Beginning with our 2010 CBC, and during the past 5 years, Scott has reported 3-6 Gray Jays each year. This year, he played a recording of their vocalizations and even crinkled a bag of hikers snacks…..to no avail. Sadly, the small group we had thoroughly enjoyed having on our CBC records for 9 years in a row did not appear. The last eBird report of Gray Jays at Tiger Mountain was 2 Jays on 6/21/16 at the summit of West Tiger 3. We hope they’ll come again.
Herring Gull – 1 seen 12/13 at Lake Sammamish State Park, just 1 day before Count Week
Short-earred Owl – we had them at Marymoor and Lake Sammamish for last year’s CBC, and this species was seen early December this year at Marymoor
California Quail – reported on eBird in a Lake Joy yard on 12/9, several days before our Count Week
American Pipit – reported at Sikes Lake on 12/12, 2 days before our Count Week
Cedar Waxwing – they’re around on the west side, just not being reported in our CBC circle
Orange-crowned Warbler – 1 at Lake Sammamish State Park on 12/12, 2 days before our Count Week

Other Notable Species:
Greater White-fronted Goose – 1 at Marymoor
Trumpeter Swans – 273, and 1 Tundra Swan
Common Loon – 1 at Lake Sammamish Boat Launch
Double-crested Cormorant – 267, our highest count ever (due to the night roost at Lake Sammamish Boat Launch)
Eurasian-collared-Dove – a paltry 10 this year, compared to 73 last year, and a 52 year average
Green Heron – 1 in Issaquah (1-2 birds are seen half the time during our CBC)
Eared Grebe – 2 on west Lake Sammamish, seen once before in 2007
Pied-billed Grebe – our highest ever at 96 birds
Spotted Sandpiper – 2 on east Lake Sammamish (missed the previous 2 years, and seen about half the time)
Anna’s Hummingbird – 73 birds and down just a bit from our highest ever of 88 last year
American Kestrel, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon – 1 each
Northern Strike—1 at Marymoor
Hutton Vireo – 1
Common Raven—26
Hermit Thrush – 3
Pine Siskin – 996
Evening Grosbeak – 14 in Issaquah
Townsend’s Warbler – 7
Western Meadowlark – 13 at Marymoor
White-throated Sparrow – 5 this year, our highest count ever, and seen 73% of the time.

Enormous thanks to the 11 teams of 68 birders, many of whom have stepped up year after year to volunteer from dawn to dusk, in all winter weather conditions to count the birds. Additional thanks to the 5 yard bird counters; the volunteers who organized, shopped, cooked and helped with the CBC dinner; the Corvid Crier webmaster, editor and article writers; Mel for spreadsheets and team packets; Jan for visual aids; all the EAS office staff; and to everyone else involved in this important, annual event. You are appreciated!

PS – Schedule this date on your calendars now for our 2017 CBC: December 16

Sharon Cormier-Aagaard
Eastside Audubon Society CBC Compiler
Bellevue WA
scormieraa001 at hotmail.com

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