[Tweeters] Sequim-Dungeness CBC results

B Boekelheide bboek at olympus.net
Fri Dec 29 07:44:17 PST 2017

Held on 18 December, the Sequim-Dungeness CBC tallied 143 species this year, right about average for the last 25 years. The total number of individual birds was 59,642, significantly lower than the all-time high count of 85,777 seen in 2011.

The most abundant species this year, as usual, was American Wigeon, with 10,621 total. Other abundant species, in decreasing order of abundance, were American Robin, Mallard, Glaucous-winged/Olympic Gull, Dunlin, Dark-eyed Junco, Bufflehead, European Starling, Brewer's and Red-winged Blackbird. These ten species comprised about 62 percent of birds seen on our count.

Species with particularly high counts this year were California Gull, Anna's Hummingbird, Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers, Merlin, Hutton's Vireo, Fox Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Purple Finch, and Common Redpoll. For the seventh year in a row Barred Owl was the most abundant owl species.

The increase in Anna’s Hummingbirds continues to amaze, as all WA birders know. The first Anna's recorded on our CBC was one lone bird in 1994, and we never recorded more than three in any year until 2006. In the last decade their numbers increased exponentially, now over 300 this year. They are everywhere -- this year, 11 separate field parties counted 10 or more hummingbirds each. At this rate of increase, Anna's Hummingbirds may soon become one of our top-ten species!

One other recent arrival, Eurasian Collared-Dove, decreased this year for the second year in a row. Some field groups commented that collared-doves seemed relatively scarce this year. Could predators such as Cooper's Hawks and falcons finally be making a dent in the collared-dove population? This year Cooper’s Hawks, Merlins, and Peregrine Falcons all tallied above their long-term averages.

Among irruptive finches, Common Redpoll set a record for our CBC. Six Pine Grosbeaks appeared in the lowlands at Gardiner. Evening Grosbeaks, a species that has been virtually absent through 2017, appeared in good numbers for groups counting south of Hwy 101.

We recorded lower than average numbers of several dabbling duck species, particularly Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, and Northern Pintail. Perhaps mild weather and ice-free freshwater allowed them to spread out where we couldn’t see them. Other species recorded in low numbers included Barrow's Goldeneye, American Coot, Pileated Woodpecker, and Northern Shrike. We missed several species we always hope to see -- Ring-necked Pheasant, Ruffed Grouse, Eared Grebe, and Hermit Thrush. Pheasants may be a species of the past, unable to replace themselves since WDFW stopped dumping them for hunting in our area.

Among unusual species, most amazing was a truly wayward Black-and-White Warbler found and photographed by the group at 3 Crabs. Other noteworthy birds included a Snow Goose at Jamestown, a Cinnamon Teal and Yellow-headed Blackbird north of Sequim, a Redhead at Simdars Pond, a Black-crowned Night Heron at 3 Crabs, 2 Yellow-billed Loons seen by the boat party, and count week California Scrub-Jay at Carlsborg.

Happy New Year!
Bob Boekelheide

More information about the Tweeters mailing list