The Queens County Christmas Bird Count was held yesterday in strong
northwest winds. Despite the non-stop gusts, 61 participants (a record for
us!) detected 33,337 individuals of 118 species.

We set high counts for a surprising number of species (number in
parenthesis is the previous high count):
Canada Goose - 6,869 (5,674)
Ring-necked Duck - 111 (49)
Lesser Scaup - 757 (649)
Wilson's Snipe - 5 (3)
Razorbill - 12 (1)
Merlin - 9 (3)
Peregrine Falcon 11 (9)
Common Raven 9 (5)
Carolina Wren 56 (47)
Chipping Sparrow 33 (9)

Some of these, like Carolina Wren, are likely attributable to more
observers. But Common Ravens, like with the Brooklyn count, are genuinely
increasing. Perhaps the falcons were observed more easily because the high
winds but lack of precipitation made observation easier?

Some good birds for the count included American Oystercatcher (5th record),
Eastern Screech-Owl (6th record), and House Wren (9th record).

Painful misses included Northern Pintail, Pied-billed Grebe, Ring-necked
Pheasant, Brown-headed Cowbird, and Rusty Blackbird. Especially painful was
missing the Ash-throated Flycatcher that had been present in Bayswater Park
until at least Friday. At least we got it as a count-week bird!

Thanks to everyone who made this count a success, especially Ian Resnick
who made sure to pick up the pizza, Nancy Tognan who did the data entry at
the compilation, and all of the sector leaders who made sure their squads
were in order and prepared as I was out of the country for a couple weeks
leading up to the count.

Good (Christmas) Bird Counting,
Corey Finger

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