Monday, December 17, 2012

Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, the 113Th Christmas Bird Count

After chasing this rare visitor, Snowy Owl, I could not wait for this year's Christmas Bird Count, a proud traditional since 1900! I started off my first Christmas Bird Count by joining fellow birders in the early morning of December 14 at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, a birding hot spot I have visited often. Our team of four people including Tim Keyes as our team leader,  Beth Roth, Jaynne Reichert and myself, spotted 74 species in seven hours! The most memorable species for me is to see a juvenile Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja) fly into Bluebill Pond at around 8:15 AM and three American Wigeons!

After spotting nine Black-faced Spoonbills during my recent visit to Asia, seeing this Roseate Spoonbill taxi and land in front of my eyes is another highlight of this Christmas Bird Count!

Juvenile Roseate Spoonbill (玫瑰琵鷺). Click image to enlarge. 

Pied-billed Grebe (non-breeding), Bluebill Pond, Harris Neck NWR

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Many thanks to Dot Bambach's great effort to organize this event, refuge manage Kimberly Hayes providing us hot chili, home-made cornbread and fruit for lunch, and Jaynne Reichert being such a patient and tireless chauffeur to make our CBC a wonderful day to remember. Finally, my appreciation also goes to our team leaders, Tim Keyes (morning) and Beth Roth (afternoon), we spotted over 70 species,  including my lifer, American Wigeon! Yeah!!

I was glad to photograph this House Finch pair :) 

Final note, I did go down to Jekyll Island Saturday morning to search for this Western Kingbird, which is supposed to be another rare bird in the area. Unfortunately, I did not have the "king's luck" :).. Oh, well, birding is always a miss or hit. But I still managed to get few shots and I was very happy! -- Happy Birding! -- Linda

Results of Team 14A in the alphabetic order: Species total number

American Coot  21
American Crow  15
American Goldfinch  16
American Robin  8
American Wigeon  3
Belted Kingfisher  3
Black Vulture  47
Black-and-white Warbler  1
Blue Jay  1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  2
Blue-headed Vireo  2
Blue-winged Teal  15
Boat-tailed Grackle  47
Brown-headed Nuthatch  1
Bufflehead  5
Carolina Chickadee  21
Carolina Wren  4
Cedar Waxwing  2
Common Gallinule  3
Common Grackle  12
Common Loon  15     fly over head
Common Yellowthroat  2
Double-crested Cormorant  4
Downy Woodpecker  (male, female) 2
Eastern Bluebird  1
Eastern Phoebe  6
Eastern Towhee  7
Forster's Tern  1
Gadwall  15
Glossy Ibis  1
Golden-crowned Kinglet  2
Great Blue Heron  5
Great Egret  6
Green-winged Teal  75
Hooded Merganser  21
House Finch  5
Killdeer  6
Laughing Gull  1
Least Sandpiper  20
Little Blue Heron  15
Loggerhead Shrike  1    
Mourning Dove  7
Northern Cardinal  5
Northern Mockingbird  6
Northern Shoveler  1
Palm Warbler  1
Pied-billed Grebe  5
Pileated Woodpecker  2
Pine Warbler  11
Red-bellied Woodpecker  7
Red-breasted Nuthatch  2
Red-headed Woodpecker  2
Red-shouldered Hawk  2
Red-tailed Hawk  3
Red-winged Blackbird  33
Ring-billed Gull  2
Roseate Spoonbill  1  
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  15
Sharp-shinned Hawk  1
Snowy Egret  20
Song Sparrow  14
Swamp Sparrow  19
Tricolored Heron  10
Tufted Titmouse  18
Turkey Vulture  10
White Ibis  33
White-eyed Vireo  1
White-throated Sparrow  3
Wilson's Snipe  15
Wood Duck  25
Wood Stork  1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  3
Yellow-rumped Warbler  15
Yellow-throated Warbler  1


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