Date: 1/9/19 4:41 pm
From: Fred Atwood via VA-bird <va-bird...>
Subject: [VA-bird] Belated Report on Walkerton CBC (Middle Peninsula) Jan 5 2019
Dear Virginia Birders
Saturday Jan 5 was the last day of deer season, and ducks and geese were
still in season, so there were a lot of hunters throughout this rural count
circle in King William, King and Queen, and a little bit of Hanover and New
Kent counties. We also lost access to 8 major properties this year due to
hunting. Despite this, our 31 skilled and conscientious birders managed to
find 99 species plus one warbler sp (probably a Nashville) that got away
before its identification could be confirmed. Many thanks to them! Most of
this circle is private property, so great thanks go out to the many
landowners who granted us access, some of whom even took a few hour break
in their hunting so we could have access. Andrew Rapp and Carson Lambert
found two new species for the count: Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and Lincoln's
Sparrow. Arun Bose, Todd Day, Ian Topolsky and Ellison Orcutt found a pair
of Ravens, a long-overdue first record for this CBC, and apparently a first
for King William county). These three species bring our cumulative
24-year total to 143 species (including 2 count week species).

There were practically no shorebirds or blackbirds around this year. We
had new all-time low counts of Snipe and Grackle. We missed Pipit and Coot
for the first time in many years and Shoveler was another surprising miss,
There were also relatively low counts of Tundra Swan, Great Blue Heron,
Horned Lark, Starling, Red-winged Blackbird, Phoebe, Cedar Waxwing,
Yellow-rumped Warbler, Meadowlark, and Screech Owl. We tallied new high
counts of Bald Eagle, House Wren, and Pine Warbler, and found relatively
high numbers of Wood Duck, Canvasback, Cormorant, Turkey, Towhee, and
Golden-crowned Kinglet. A Blue-headed Vireo found by Dana Bradshaw and
Bryan Watts, was the first one found on an actual count day, though last
year one was found in count week. Only 4 Bobwhites were found, at one
location, despite conscientious efforts to find them in other suitable
habitat where they have been found in the past. Not surprisingly in this
irruption year, we tied our previous high of 11 Red-breasted Nuthatches. A
Cackling Goose, 2 Merlins, 1 Pine Siskin, a Rusty Blackbird, and 4 Palm
Warblers, were other interesting finds.

Here are the count totals, with some additional notes that may be of
interest. "High" and "ave" are the highest and average counts in the
previous 23 years of this count.

10 Tundra Swan only the second time in 17 years when 10 or fewer swans have
been seen. (high 136, ave 46)
10,231 Canada goose (high 17,400, ave 7001)
1 Cackling Goose (high 6, ave 1, seen on 8 counts)
124 Wood Duck, our second highest count; most were flying into a swamp to
roost for the night (high 157, ave 30)
80 Green-winged Teal (high 481, ave 94)
109 Black Duck (high 464, ave 142)
601 Mallard (high 1372, ave 549)
621 Pintail (high 2151, ave 549)
0 Northern Shoveler only the second miss in the last 15 years (high 105,
ave 16)
261 Gadwall (high 420, ave 118)
15 Am. Wigeon (high 20, ave 5)
41 Canvasback, our second highest count (high 361, ave 16)
322 Ring-necked Duck (high 1144, ave 362)
32 Lesser Scaup high 447, ave 28)
1 Common Goldeneye (high 25, ave 3)
179 Bufflehead (high 470, ave 116)
73 Hooded Merganser (high 89, ave 37)
44 Ruddy Duck (high 580, ave 80)
2736 Duck sp (mostly silhouetted large non-Pintail dabblers flying over The
Pocket at dusk)
12 Pied-billed Grebe (high 53, ave 13)
54 Double-crested Cormorant, our third highest count (high 91, ave 16)
22 Great Blue Heron, only the second count below 25 in 19 years (high 69,
ave 36).
285 Black Vulture, our 2nd highest count (high 289, ave 136)
486 Turkey Vulture, our 4th highest count (high 649, ave 277)
77 Bald Eagle, NEW HIGH 46 ad, 20 imm, 11 not noted (high 68, ave 38)
11 Northern Harrier (high 19, ave 8)
3 Sharp-shinned Hawk (high 11, ave 4)
1 Cooper's hawk (high 6, ave 2)
22 Red-shouldered Hawk (high 38, ave 18)
16 Red-tailed Hawk (high 39, ave 26)
93 Wild Turkey 2nd highest count (101, ave 31)
4 Bobwhite at only one location (high 28, ave 9)
0 Coot, our first miss since count 10, (high 628, ave 59)
45 Killdeer, only our 4th count below 50 (high 625, ave 180)
1 Snipe NEW LOW, Yikes almost missed this species, (high 202, ave 50)
39 Woodcock, 3rd highest count (high 187, ave 21)
547 Ring-billed Gull (high 939, ave 334)
208 Mourning Dove, below ave (high 956, ave 382)
1 Screech Owl (high 12, ave 4)
7 Great Horned Owl (high 40, ave 10)
7 Barred Owl (high 15, ave 7)
19 Belted Kingfisher (high 43, ave 20)
22 Red-headed Woodpecker (high 60, ave 15)
99 Red-bellied Woodpecker (high 145, ave 71)
33 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (high 43, ave 26)
49 Downy Woodpecker (high 90, ave 47)
19 Hairy Woodpecker (high 34, ave 14)
140 Flicker (high 234, ave 125)
37 Pileated Woodpecker (high 64, ave 32)
2 Merlin (high 3, ave 1, seen on 10 prior counts)
17 Phoebe, quite a drop from over 50 in last two years (high 87, ave 23)
1 BLUE-HEADED VIREO, first time on count day (once seen in a previous year
during count week)
128 Blue Jay (high 142, ave 72)
677 Am Crow (high 847, ave 568)
2 AMERICAN RAVEN New species to count
10 Horned Lark, our lowest count since count 99 (high 204, ave 69)
118 Carolina Chickadee (high 175, ave 104)
111 Tufted Titmouse (high 161, ave 87)
11 Red-breasted Nuthatch ties highest count, all other years 5 or below
(high 11, ave 2)
27 White-breasted Nuthatch (high 58, ave 29)
15 Brown Creeper (high 20, ave 9)
131 Carolina Wren (high 218, ave 102)
5 House Wren NEW HIGH (high 3, ave 1, seen on 8 previous counts)
32 Winter Wren (high 43, ave 17)
95 Golden-crowned Kinglet, 3rd highest count (high 103, ave 52)
29 Ruby-crowned Kinglet (high 71, ave 31)
1 BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER New species to count
232 Bluebird (high 482, ave 198)
31 Hermit Thrush (high 126, ave 34)
835 Robin (high 4480, ave 1512)
0 Pipit, only missed once before (high 365, ave 136)
204 Cedar Waxwing (high 1308, ave 385)
166 Starling 2nd lowest count (high 1670, ave 730), lowest since 98 on
count 95
25 Yellow-rumped Warbler, lowest count since 2007, (high 290, ave 106)
16 Pine Warbler NEW HIGH (high 14, ave 3)
4 Palm Warbler, only 5th year (high 12, ave 1)
1 Warbler sp, possibly a Nashville
41 Chipping Sparrow (high 209, ave 36)
52 Field Sparrow, highest count since 2009, (high 77, ave 36)
86 Savannah Sparrow, 3rd highest count (high 127, ave 44)
1 LINCOLN'S SPARROW New species to count
29 Fox Sparrow, 3rd highest count (high 54, ave 12)
369 Song Sparrow (high 734, ave 319)
1187 White-throated Sparrow (high 1697, ave 1035)
7 White-crowned Sparrow, 3rd highest count (high 33, ave 3)
581 Junco (high 1307, ave 620)
61 Towhee, 2nd highest count (high 71, ave 30)
290 Cardinal (high 492, ave 216)
595 Red-winged Blackbird, lowest count since count 100 (high 250,987, ave
37171)
1 Rusty Blackbird (high 36, ave 6)
36 Meadowlark (high 176, ave 61)
2 Grackle NEW LOW (high 167,452, ave 20,550)
4 Purple Finch (high 53, ave 5, seen on 9 previous counts)
66 House Finch (high 188, ave 52)
11 Cowbird (high 4562, ave 282)
161 Goldfinch (high 408, ave 147)
1 Pine Siskin (high 43, ave 2, seen on 4 previous counts)
19 House Sparrow (high 78, ave 21)

Wishing you a wonderful 2019 full of great views of great birds.

Fred Atwood
Oakton, Fairfax Co
Compiler, Walkerton CBC
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