Fox sparrow on 2009 count. Photo by George and Mary Ann LaDuke
Field and Feeder observers combined efforts to find a total of 70 species for the count day plus one for the count period on our 2009 Manistee Christmas Bird Count.
The weather was fair this year unlike the mess we contended with last year and light winds, relatively mild temperatures and better road conditions helped observers cover most of the area. Many of the inland waters were frozen but sections of Portage Lake and Manistee Lake were open to help boost the numbers of ducks seen. That in addition to several good birds at feeders helped boost the total up into the 70 range which we have only attained a few times before.
Best Birds: Glaucous Gull found by David Dister at First St. Pier, 2 Red-throated Loons at Fifth Avenue breakwall by Tom Pavlik a Detroit metro birder that came up to help out with Brian Allen. They also found a Catbird near the Lake Bluff Audubon Center. Carl Freeman found only the second every record of Common Yellowthroat at Portage Lake surviving near a stream in dense cattails and phragmites. Barry Barto and Doug Cook found a lone Great Blue Heron. At the feeders George and Mary Ann LaDuke had what might be our first Fox Sparrow ever on the count and Annette Peterson had both a Grackle and an Eastern Towhee!
Big numbers: Long-tailed Duck 10,900, White-winged Scoter 2,352, Common Goldeneye 3628, Eastern Bluebird 26, and Black-capped Chickadee 466. Total individuals were at 23,279 a possible new high for the count.
Thanks to all who helped out, it was a very good day.