The 57th Captree Christmas Bird Count, in southwestern Suffolk County, was conducted on Sunday, December 15th, 2019. While the sixty-one CBC participants had to deal with blustery 20-25 mph westerly winds, the weather was otherwise very enjoyable with temperatures in the 40's under partly-cloudy skies. Despite the wind, 29,427 individual birds of an impressive 127 species were counted. This total is 10 species greater than last year, and well above the 57-year average of 116 species and ten-year average of 118.
A sampling of our more unusual species (ordered somewhat taxonomically): Barnacle Goose - Belmont Virginia Rail - Seatuck Long-billed Dowitcher - Gardiner American Woodcock - Heckscher Wilson's Snipe - behind Xpressions Adult Store, Connetquot Common Murre - Fire - second count record Thick-billed Murre - Fire Iceland Gull - Belmont Rough-legged Hawk - Jones Northern Saw-whet Owl - East Eastern Phoebe - Seatuck Tree Swallow - Heckscher Marsh Wren - East 4 Eastern Bluebirds - Connetquot Rusty Blackbird - East American Redstart - East - first count record (#245) that likely deserved the coveted "Best Bird of the Count" award, which was awarded to Common Murre. (Western) Palm Warbler - North 3 Pine Warblers - North Common Yellowthroat - Heckscher 2 Orange-crowned Warblers - North and Seatuck 3 Eastern Meadowlarks - Heckscher In addition, a Northern Shrike in Heckscher SP, which was unfortunately not seen on the count, was observed the prior day (count week) and would be a 128th species for the period. Echoing a previous listserve post by Shai Mitra, there was an impressive, but ephemeral, flight of 647 Razorbills that included individuals of both Murre species at Robert Moses SP. This did not beat last year's high of 1,145 birds, but it is well above the third-place maximum of 12 Razorbills. Other new maxima included 9 Common Ravens, 19 Chipping Sparrows, and 3 Pine Warblers. While some numbers were low, we luckily managed to avoid any real unbelievable misses (at least by recent standards). Some of the more regular birds for this count that we did miss included American Pipit and Bald Eagle, the latter being nearly expected due to their recent regularity at Connetquot River SP. After many years at Villa Monaco, the compilation dinner this year was held at Sea Levels Restaurant in Brightwaters. The compilation was cheerful and fun, with participants enjoying good food and drink with friends and team-members. Hopefully this location will be our new home for the compilation. We are very grateful for the generosity of the Great South Bay Audubon Society, whose contribution again reduced the cost of the meal for our participants. Finally, we extend our sincerest gratitude to Pat Lindsay and Shai Mitra, who compiled the Captree CBC for over a decade. Many of the things that make this count so great are owed to them, and we hope to keep the traditions going. We will finalize the results in the coming days and share them with Great South Bay Audubon and anyone else who requests a summary. Thank you to all who joined! Best, Taylor Sturm and Brent Bomkamp Co-compilers 2019CBC------------------------- -- NYSbirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsWELCOME.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsRULES.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://firstname.lastname@example.org/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/NYSBirds-L 3) http://birding.aba.org/maillist/NY01 Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --