The 2nd Palmetto Island CBC (Vermilion Parish) was held on Thursday Jan 6, postponed from January 4 due to the cold weather. We actually had a sunrise temp of 25/26F but it warmed up to the mid-40s in the afternoon. The circle is centered at Palmetto Island State Park, south of Abbeville. The circle covers south Abbeville to Intracoastal city, east across the Vermilion River to Live Oak and Boston areas and west along Hwy 82 almost to Forked Island.
It was once again a great count, with a unofficial species count of 155, pending a feeder watch or two. That is down 2 from last year but considering the conditions, pretty good. Overall quantities were significantly down in most species with just a few exceptions. Ducks, geese, raptors, shorebirds etc were way down due in large part to the frozen ponds and low water levels in the marshes.
Best birds: Semipalmated Plover, Whimbrel, Franklin's Gull, Summer Tanager, Painted Bunting, Caracara, Peregrine, Vermilion Flycatcher, NRW Swallow, Black&White Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, Lark Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Bronzed Cowbird and a really cool dark morph Red Tailed Hawk. Not a whole lot of bold faced species but very few expected misses.
The special "Dedication Award" goes to the LDWF boat crew of Michael Seymour, Samuel Holcomb and Chuck Battaglia. This circle has a very large road-less area only accessible by boat, the count would not be same without these guys. If someone had asked me to "volunteer to count birds" in a boat with a sunrise temp of 25F, I would have told them exactly where to dock that boat!
BTW - if anyone would like to see the finalized compilation workbook, just email me offlist and I'll send it to you.