Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Official Christmas Bird Count - Blue Ridge, GA

Event: 2009 Christmas Bird Count in Blue Ridge
Location: Blue Ridge Bird Seed Company, Blue Ridge, Georgia, USA
Address: 611 E Main St, Blue Ridge, GA 30513
Time: 9:00AM to 5:00PM, January 3, 2010

It took me few days to gather data to write this post. For people not familiar with Blue Ridge, I hope this interactive map can show readers where we observed for different species by one-clicking the blue sign on map. Now even myself know more about Blue Ridge after this CBC.

View Blue Ridge Christmas Bird Count 2009 in a larger map

I decided to join birders at Blue Ridge for 2009 Christmas Bird Count (CBC). I checked the weather and found out it would be an icy, sunny Sunday. I told myself I will go as long as it is not raining. It turned out to be a super cold, but a well worthy trip for me. I headed out to Blue Ridge at around 7AM and it was an easy drive in the morning and it took me about 90 minutes to get there. There were 9 people from Atlanta area could not make due to the icy weather. We had 22 people to cover 5 different areas of Blue Ridge and I was with Bill Schmid from Ellijay and Barbara Bryant from Blue Ridge to cover zone #5 (South and East of Blue Ridge).

Bill is our team leader and we also carpool with Bill. He is familiar with all areas in zone #5 and he has a huge map with him just in case. We were counting and observing birds in a temperature between 19F to 28F that day and Bill was very nice to keep his car heat running just in case we could not stand the cold and had to get back inside the car. Our team observed 38 species with 286 count at the end of the day. According to Bill, he had 30 species in 2008 with 421 count. This year we missed from 2008 year count are (data here provided by Bill Schmid): Canada Goose, Mourning Dove, Rock Pigeon, Pileated Woodpecker, Dark-eyed Junco and Common Grackle. The species added this year are:
Pied-billed Grebe
Turkey Vulture
Ring-necked Duck
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Red Shouldered Hawk
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Hermit Thrush
Field Sparrow
Purple Finch
Lesser Scaup

Click the bottom right corner of the slide show to see detail of each photo or click BlueRidgeChristmasBirdCount and you will be redirected to the photo albums

Highlight of this CBC for me was to see 3 Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, 4 hawks, many waterfowl at Goose Island with a short visit by one Great Blue Heron. Of course, we all had a great time at "Mercier" country store with hot soup, sandwiches and a nice chat. Robert Kimsey, our CBC cooridnator has totaled 72 species among 5 teams and the final count will be updated when I get number from him.  

Final note: if you are interested in coming to Blue Ridge, check out their Bird Watch Trips sponsered by Blue Ridge Bird Seed Company. When you come, make sure you visit this fun country store "Mercier".

bird counting game


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  1. Linda: I spoke with you briefly at Mercier. Thanks for doing this. This is great. Roy

  2. Linda,

    You were a pleasure to have along with us as we scouted Blue Ridge's Zone 5.
    Glad you enjoyed yourself and our mountain hospitality.
    Look forward to you possibly assisting us in the 2010 CBC.
    Thank you for the narrative.

    Bill Schmid
    Fannin County Wing Watchers


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