Date: 10/9/17 9:06 pm
From: 'Phil Brown' via NHBirds <nhbirds...>
Subject: [NHBirds] NH Audubon Big Sit reports - Sandwich, Peterborough, and Concord
NH Audubon hosted four 'Big Sit' birding events this weekend. Dave already posted about the Pondicherry Big Sit. The others included Pack Monadnock (Peterborough) and Carter Hill (Concord) Raptor Observatories, and the newest one - the Thompson Wildlife Sanctuary in Sandwich. This event, also occurring yesterday (along with Pondicherry), took place from the Ridgely Observation Platform at the end of the recently completed accessible boardwalk and trail.

Like Pondicherry, we also tallied 51 species of birds including an Asio owl (probably Short-eared), Pectoral Sandpiper, American Bittern, Sora, two Pied-billed Grebes, two Rusty Blackbirds, two Wilson's Snipe, and two Red Crossbills. The grebes and several Merlins were our unofficial mascot birds, giving great looks to several birders and dozens of visitors who came out to enjoy the spectacular afternoon views of the surrounding mountains after the clouds lifted.
Some photos of the day are posted on NH Audubon's Facebook page: New Hampshire Audubon


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New Hampshire Audubon
The first annual Thompson Wildlife Sanctuary 'Big Sit' birding event was a success! 51 species of birds,... | |

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At the observatories, the Big Sits were conducted on Saturday. As expected, Carter Hill tallied more species (47) than Pack Monadnock (30), but both sites were on the high side for this annual event occurring on the second weekend of October. Lingering summer conditions may have something to do with this!

Ken Klapper and I (along with several other birders throughout the day) counted at Carter Hill where 422 people visited the raptor observatory platform during the day. Highlights included getting the scope on both Lincoln's and White-crowned Sparrows from the platform. Otherwise, it was a fairly usual mix of early October species. Big misses: House Finch, Northern Cardinal, Red-tailed Hawk.
Katrina Fenton at Pack Monadnock reports the most exciting species to be a Northern Saw-whet Owl just past 6 am. Pack did much better with raptor diversity and, surprisingly, tallied 16 Ospreys to Carter Hill's 0. But they missed Merlin, a much expected species there on almost any given day in early October!

Both sites used the opportunity to fundraise and collected pledges totaling about $10/species from generous birders and volunteers from the observatories.

Phil BrownNH Audubon

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