Date: 10/9/17 10:35 am
From: David Govatski Gmail <david.govatski...>
Subject: [NHBirds] Pondicherry Big Sit results from Sunday 8 October 2017 with 51 species
The 11th Annual Pondicherry Big Sit was held on Sunday 8 October 2017 from 0600-1800. We had seven participants on the Pondicherry Marsh Hawks birding team. We only recorded birds from the Tudor Richards Viewing Platform on the shore of Cherry Pond in Jefferson. It was the warmest of the 11 Big Sits that are held on the second Sunday in October. The temperatures ranged from 55 at dawn to 75 for much of the day. The dew point was an oppressive 70 and the mosquitos took full advantage of the thick humid air. We had rain from 0900 to around noon but we had a rain fly to stay dry underneath. The results can be viewed at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S39784406 <http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S39784406>
Highlights:
A record 51 species exceeded our 2010 record of 48 and last years count of 46. Considering the adverse weather we were pleased with the quality and quantity of species.
Both black and white-winged scoters were recorded.
We added four new species to this Big Sit count and they included ruddy duck, great black-backed gull, eastern towhee and winter wren. This brings our cumulative total to 84 species. We have now recorded 160 species at Pondicherry in 2017. Contact me off line if you would like a cumulative list.
We missed some common species like goldfinch, belted kingfisher, mallard and common merganser while raptor numbers were higher than usual.
We saw two moose with a cow moose walking 75 feet in front of the platform at 0645 and a young bull seen on the far side later in the morning. Gray tree frogs were calling and we saw several attractive Buck moths, probably attracted to the sweet while clover growing along the rail trail.
A low flying drone was observed at 0655 at the northeast corner of the pond and it caused numerous waterfowl to leave the pond. We never saw the controller and we notified the authorities of this illegal activity within five miles of an airport and over a national wildlife refuge.
The Big Sit is a fun way to enjoy the outdoors and see beautiful autumn foliage which is at peak in the White Mountains. The next Pondicherry Big Sit will be on 14 October 2018.

David Govatski
Jefferson, NH


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