In the 24th Stone Mountain CBC(Jan 1, 2017), my dream of finally getting all areas of the count circle covered was dashed at the last minute by illness of one of our sector leaders (nothing serious), but we still had a fun and productive count finding 8,196 birds, including a flock of 6000 grackles, with 58 species represented (59 with a count week Brown Thrasher), compared to our average of 55.
Good finds were our first ever Greater White-fronted Goose, our 2nd record Red-winged blackbirds, and our 4th Merlin.
Missed were House sparrow (5th miss), Hairy WP (7th), Creeper(8th) and all of the fowl-like birds(Turkey, grouse, bobwhite), which have been getting much scarcer. Low numbers of Robins (7, our 2nd lowest ever) followed the trend for NW NC this winter.
New high numbers were posted for Chipping Sparrow, continuing a run of increasing numbers in each of the last 5 years, at 117(average 12, previous high 41); Swamp Sparrow with 7 (avg 1, prev high 5), and Winter Wren with 7 (2,5). Winter wrens seem to be much more common in NW NC this winter than in recent years past, as lots were also found in the Grandfather Mtn. CBC.