Bohemian Waxwings top bird count

The 2014 West Boundary Bird Count showed the lowest species and numbers over the past 12 years.

Flicker photographed by Len Schmidt Fall 2008

Submitted by Fred Marshall

Twenty-one participants who sighted 55 species including 1,615 individuals enjoyed the 2014 West Boundary bird count.

This was the lowest species and numbers sighted over the past 12 years with 48 species and 1,344 individuals being sighted in 2002.

Last year 59 species with 2,649 individuals were counted. This year’s count is therefore lower than average for both number of species and number of individuals. The 2006 count, which involved 60 species and 3,893 individuals, is the highest count on record.

The West Boundary count area includes all of the West Boundary starting from and including Eholt.

Bohemian Waxwings topped the count this year with 443 birds sighted. Black-capped chickadees, usually topping the list, took second with 164 being sighted. Crows were third with 157 and ravens close behind with 156.

Unusual sightings included three robins, one ferruginous hawk and one northern shrike with both being spotted by Don Henry on Hulme Creek road, two Townsend solitaires with one seen by Glen Millar near Zamora and one seen by Flo Hewer in Beaverdell.

Ring-necked pheasants, which were regular residents at the Harpur ranch along Myers Creek for many years, have been observed for the last five years.

Lorri Harpur stated that also missing from his count this year were redpolls, finches, juncos, grosbeaks, goldfinch and dippers although he did see a lone dipper early in 2015.

Many thanks to everyone who participated. The more people who participate, the better the count.

Full count details:

Great blue heron – 2; Mallard – 20; common goldeneye – 5; common merganser –  5; American dipper – 7; belted kingfisher – 6; bald eagle – 34; golden eagle – 1; ferruginous hawk –1; sharp-shinned hawk – 1; red-tailed hawk – 9; kestrel – 4; rough-legged hawk – 3; northern shrike – 2; pygmy owl – 9; downy woodpecker – 22; hairy woodpecker –15; northern flicker – 33; pileated woodpecker – 3; grey jay – 16; Stellar’s jay – 64; Clark’s nutcracker – 17; magpie – 30; crow – 157; raven – 156; black capped chickadee –164; mountain chickadee – 78; red-breasted nuthatch – 41; brown creeper – 2; winter wren – 5; mourning dove-2; Eurasian collard dove-26; Ruffed grouse – 25; blue grouse – 2; California quail – 80; wild turkey-77; Robin – 3; varied thrush – 2; Bohemian waxwing – 48; song sparrow – 7; English sparrow – 25; Townsend’s solitaire – 2; snow buntings – 20; pine grosbeak –1; evening grosbeak –16; purple finch – 33; house finch–61; American goldfinch –147; common redpoll – 2; pine siskin – 36; dark-eyed junco – 40; starling – 30; rock dove (pigeon) – 15.


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