|Birders warming up at the annual|
compilation dinner potluck.
The 53rd Plainfield Christmas Bird Count took place under cold conditions on Saturday, December 14, with lows of -11 F in colder spots and highs in the single digits. Our total of 41 species (plus one count week) is slightly above the 10-year average of 38.8. Highlights this year included a Hermit Thrush along the Stevens Branch of the Winooski River in Barre, only the second time recorded in the count. A Belted Kingfisher in Lanesboro was also a big surprise, where open water was scarce.
As with the other counts this year, winter finches were completely absent, but we did manage to set record highs for Red-tailed Hawk (5), Hairy Woodpecker (69), American Robin (31), and Northern Cardinal (49). Some other highlights included American Black Duck (our first since 2008), 2 Northern Goshawks, an adult Bald Eagle in Marshfield, White-throated Sparrows in 2 different territories, and a pair of Song Sparrows in Barre (our first since 2008).
Thanks to the 34+ participants who braved the cold. A full list of species is included below:
|The only Snowy Owl seen during|
the count was Ken's meatloaf!
|American Black Duck||2|
|American Tree Sparrow||52|