Monday, May 10, 2010

A Cold, Windy May Bird Count

It seems that the weather never quite cooperates for our May Bird Count and this year was no exception. As we got out of the car at Ritchey Woods to start our day, it was about 45 degrees outside with a 20-25mph wind with gusts up to 35mph. As most of you know, those are not great birding conditions. Our first bird of the day was a beautiful Baltimore Oriole perched in a bare tree right at the trail head.

We struggled to find warblers in the wind but we ended up with 13 species. The only new year bird that I found at Ritchey was a single Willow Flycatcher that called only once! This was number 221 for the year in Indiana for me.

Next we headed over to a site where Lark Sparrows had been reported recently. I was lucky to see the Lark Sparrow for about 20 seconds before it disappeared in the weeds never to show back up for the rest of the group. We also had our only Great Egret of the day here.

After another quick stop with nothing of note, we headed back to Cool Creek for lunch and a tally from all of the teams that had gone out. Even with all of the wind, the group found 126 species and finished within 5 of the record. It was a great morning out birding despite the weather and everyone had a great time!

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