Tuesday, January 8, 2013

CBC WC Style 2012

Within the last few days of work before the end of the year I was battling a cold and the urge to get out and bird.  Birding won.  My first official National Audubon Christmas Bird Count was on Dec. 15th in New Haven.  As a little prep for it and to also see if any important birds on West Campus weren't found during the actual count day, I went out on the Friday before to do a mini-CBC here.

I'll just put the list in below but the end results were this.  Total bird numbers were down and total species (25) were down, likely do to the lack of berries and fruit out in the wild this winter.   Though there were some species lingering probably because of the warmer weather we have been experiencing.  It was a fun morning to get outside.  Here's the results. 

Sharp-shinned Hawk (1)
Red-tailed Hawk (1)
Ring-billed Gull (2)
Herring Gull (8)
Rock Pigeon (9)
Mourning Dove (4)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (2)
Downy Woodpecker (3)
Northern Flicker (1)
Blue Jay (5)
American Crow (27)
Black-capped Chickadee (3)
White-breasted Nuthatch (3)
Carolina Wren (5)
Winter Wren (1)
Golden-crowned Kinglet (3)
American Robin (36)
Gray Catbird (1)
European Starling (6)
Cedar Waxwing (4)
Song Sparrow (3)
White-throated Sparrow (34)
Dark-eyed Junco (15)
Northern Cardinal (6)
American Goldfinch (5)

Nothing was outstanding although the Gray Catbird and Carolina Wren are good birds for this late in the season (at least it found some food).  Some interesting misses are the lack of Canada Geese on our grassy areas, House Finch, Fish Crow, and any exceptional winter finches.  It really would have been a good time to find a Common Redpoll, Red Crossbill, or White-winged Crossbill.  These three finches are irruptive during years of poor seed crops up north. 

"whitewash"- fecal evidence of an owl... no owl though :-(

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Sometimes Noise Equals Quiet

From December 13th:  Yale West Campus (WC to some of us) is currently in the path of great change.  With an increase of human occupation on campus, there seems to be a decrease in bird occupation. Winter is always a less diverse time here on campus, even looking back at past years, we haven't had many species.  Now the total number of birds seems to be less, even common species are rarer on our usual drives and walks.  With an increase in human activity, it seems we're having a decrease in animal activity.

Anyway, here's the low down (and I mean low down) for species over the last couple of weeks.  This week will likely have similar results since I've been feeling under the weather. 

Bird List (in approximate increasing size order)
1. Black-capped Chickadee
2. American Goldfinch
3. Dark-eyed Junco
4. House Finch
5. House Sparrow
6. White-throated Sparrow
7. Fox Sparrow
8. Northern Cardinal
9. European Starling
10. Red-winged Blackbird
11. American Robin
12. Blue Jay
13. Common Grackle
14. Mourning Dove
15. Northern Flicker
16. Rock Pigeon
17. American Crow
18. Ring-billed Gull
19. Herring Gull
20. Red-tailed Hawk
21. Wild Turkey

I'm hoping to get out and do a little Christmas Bird Count here next week.  In case I do find something good we will be able to add it to the New Haven areas count if they don't find it in another spot.