The Northern Nassau Christmas Count was held Saturday, December 16. The results
were a disappointing 94 species and equally disappointing 19,855 individuals.
There were highlights, however, including a count first 2 Tree Swallows, 3
Cackling Geese, 7 Bald Eagles, Virginia Rail, 20 Greater Yellowlegs, 2
Semipalmated Plovers, 9 Common Ravens, 5 American Pipits, 2 Merlins, 19
Northern Gannets, 21 Rusty Blackbirds, and Horned Lark.
Although nesting of the eagles and ravens occurred nearby, there was probably
some minor overlap in the numbers counted.
Many species were missed altogether, none more glaring than Eastern Screech Owl
which has not been missed since 1967. Almost every single species we did record
was down from the ten-year average. This was particularly evident in waterfowl,
loons, and grebes, all down roughly 50%-90% off the ten-year average. Most
small water was at least partially frozen but Long Island Sound was open and
only had a light chop. Northern Shoveler, Ring-necked Duck, Common Merganser,
and Ruddy Duck were all zeroes. Greater Scaup came in at 575, roughly 93% down.
Warblers, despite nice finds on adjacent counts, were nonexistent save 11
The very small list of common birds that was actually up, on average:
I haven’t seen the number of participants or effort information yet to draw any
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