Tuesday, December 21, 2010

CBC Birding

To start off the Christmas Bird Count season I drove over to Linton, Indiana to meet our group at the McDonald's. After getting our assignment of GP10 I drove down to the unit to meet Rob and Chad. While waiting in the parking lot the first Lapland Longspur flew overhead. After Rob and Chad arrived we hiked around GP 10N which is about 2-3 miles of hiking. Throughout the hike we had sparrows flying up from our feet but almost all were American Tree and Song Sparrows. At the end of the hike we found another small flock of sparrows that contained our best bird of the day, a Vesper Sparrow. It turned out to be the only one for the count. I didn't stay for the second half of the day because I still had one final to go for the semester and needed some time to study.

Vesper Sparrow on the Goose Pond CBC.

On Saturday I participated in the Hamilton County Christmas Bird Count. I've been doing this count every year since I started birding. With all of the cold temperatures recently 95% of the water in the county was frozen. Our group was responsible for covering Strawtown Koteewi Park. Our group split up to cover the north and south units seperately. Both areas were loaded with American Robins and we also had quite a few Cedar Waxwings. While most of our hike was uneventful we eventually started seeing a few good species such as Savannah Sparrow and Northern Harrier. Both of these species are tough to find during the winter in Hamilton County.

One of the common species on the Hamilton County CBC.

Cedar Waxwing-we had a couple flocks of waxwings during the CBC.

After our whole group met back up we drove a few county roads north of Strawtown. After a few minutes we ran into a few Horned Larks. After a couple minutes a Lapland Longspur flew in and was eventually followed by 6-8 Snow Buntings. I finished up with a quick check of Morse Reservoir which was almost completely frozen. But there was one Great Blue Heron and a Bald Eagle soaring above Morse Park.
As always the CBC season was a fun birding experience.


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