The 73rd annual Ulster County Mohonk Lake/Ashokan Reservoir (NYML) Audubon 
Christmas Bird Count (CBC) was conducted this past Saturday, December 17, 2022, 
under very pleasant weather conditions.  A total of 57 participants (52 field 
observers and 5 feeder watchers) in 20 field parties encountered 11,169 
individual birds representing 72 species, plus three additional count week 
species (pending any late additions).  The above totals do not include one 
additional review species (Golden Eagle) which may lack sufficient 
documentation, and one outstanding field party report.  For historical context, 
diversity was eight species below our ten-year average (80), and total 
abundance was down 3,475 individuals (14,644 ten-year average).  Our all-time 
record high count for this circle remains at 87 species/22,307 individuals, 
both recorded in 2017.  Combined effort (participation, field parties, and 
field party hours) continues to increase and surpass historical averages.  
Environmental conditions were favorable for conducting a survey, less than 
desirable for concentrating birds or encouraging any discernible movement of 
birds into our count area.  Count day temperatures were relatively mild (31 – 
43 °F) with 5-12 mph NNW winds interspersed with periods of calm throughout the 
day.  Early morning fog was followed by sunshine and variable overcast, with 
increasing clouds later in the day.  No precipitation was recorded on count 
day, snow depth varied from .5" to 3", covering 30-70% of terrain, depending on 
location and exposure.  Moving water was mostly free of ice, flowing high and 
rapidly.  Still bodies of water were mostly to entirely frozen.  Stone Ridge 
Pond was 50% open, Fourth Binnewater Lake attracted a nice diversity of 
waterfowl, Ashokan Reservoir was frozen in one count section, open and choppy 
in the lower basin area.
Most species were detected in below average numbers, typical of results in mild 
Decembers with fair weather preceding the survey and persisting through the 
count day.  Despite the relative overall lack of birds, ten species were 
detected in sufficient numbers to tie or establish new record-high counts:  
Gadwall - 17 (surpassing 16 in 2016, 2.8 ten-year average).  All on Stone Ridge 
Pond.  Ring-necked Duck - 62 (28 in 2014, 9 avg).  61 on Fourth Binnewater.Bald 
Eagle - 23 (18 in 2015, 10.7 avg).  Widespread throughout the count circle. 
Red-shouldered Hawk - 14 (9 in 2017, 5 avg)Red-tailed Hawk - 86 (84 in 2018, 60 
avg)Barred Owl  - 9 (ties 9 in 2018, 5.3 avg)Belted Kingfisher - 12 (11 in 
2020, 5 avg)Tufted Titmouse - 517 (419 in 2015, 303 avg).  A remarkable 
increase in a year when active bird feeders were few and far between.Winter 
Wren - 15 (12 in 2017, 6.7 avg) Carolina Wren - 121 (ties 121 in 2018, 72 avg)
A count week Northern Shoveler found on Stone Ridge Pond represents a first 
record for the historical count composite (currently 151 species plus 4 count 
week).  One Lesser Scaup on Fourth Binnewater, and a count week Northern 
Pintail on Stone Ridge Pond represent the sixth time each species has been 
recorded on this count.  The aforementioned Golden Eagle report, if accepted, 
would represent a fifth record for this count.  The immature bird was seen by a 
single observer flying at ~1,000 feet over Berme Road in High Falls. 
There were no record low counts, and no particular species stands out as a bad 
miss.  Red-headed Woodpecker, increasingly more abundant and widespread in the 
county and apparently visiting a suet feeder in the count circle, was a 
disappointing miss when they were not detected during a drive-by of the feeder 
location and nearby breeding grounds.  Horned Grebe was not encountered on 
Ashokan Reservoir this year, present in 40 of the past 72 years, concentrations 
of this species in our area are typically associated with northern lakes 
freezing over and driving more birds south.  Common Loon, Rough-legged Hawk, 
Great Black-backed Gull, and Eastern Meadowlark are species previously 
encountered in at least twenty or more years that were not detected this year.  
Ruffed Grouse (46 past years) and Evening Grosbeak (34 years) were also missed, 
but are no longer expected on this count.  Lastly, the greatly anticipated 
Ross's Goose that graced Stone Ridge Pond over a four-day period apparently 
departed just three days shy of count week.
A complete report with a list of participants and effort information will be 
published in the John Burroughs Natural History Society newsletter at a later 
date.  Appended below is the species list with number of individuals.  Thanks 
to all of the field participants and feeder watchers for another nice job of 
providing excellent coverage, to the sector leaders for recruiting and 
organizing their field parties and submitting their data in a timely manner, 
and to Mark DeDea, Kyla Haber, and everyone that helped with refreshments and 
arrangements at our post-count compilation in the Hasbrouck Park stone 
building.  Next year's Mohonk Lake/Ashokan Reservoir CBC is scheduled for the 
traditional first Saturday of the count period, December 16, 2023.

Steve M. ChorvasMohonk Lake/Ashokan Reservoir CBC CompilerSaugerties, NY

2022 NYML CBC Summary List
Canada Goose - 1,950Northern Shoveler - cwGadwall - 17American Wigeon - 
3American Black Duck - 36Mallard - 138Northern Pintail - cwRing-necked Duck - 
62Lesser Scaup - 1Hooded Merganser - 20Common Merganser - 24Wild Turkey - 
28Great Blue Heron - cwBlack Vulture - 17Turkey Vulture - 7Northern Harrier - 
6Sharp-shinned Hawk - 4Cooper's Hawk - 7Bald Eagle - 23Red-shouldered Hawk - 
14Red-tailed Hawk - 86Ring-billed Gull - 5Herring Gull - 50Rock Pigeon - 
202Mourning Dove - 368Eastern Screech-Owl - 3Great Horned Owl - 8Barred Owl - 
9Northern Saw-whet Owl - 1Belted Kingfisher - 12Red-bellied Woodpecker - 
109Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - 17Downy Woodpecker - 116Hairy Woodpecker - 
26Northern Flicker - 17Pileated Woodpecker - 23American Kestrel - 6Merlin - 
2Peregrine Falcon - 1Blue Jay - 429American Crow - 676Common Raven - 31Horned 
Lark - 6Black-capped Chickadee - 433Tufted Titmouse - 517Red-breasted Nuthatch 
- 5White-breasted Nuthatch - 194Brown Creeper - 7Winter Wren - 15Carolina Wren 
- 121Golden-crowned Kinglet - 3Eastern Bluebird - 187Hermit Thrush - 5American 
Robin - 77Northern Mockingbird - 43European Starling - 2,047Cedar Waxwing - 
15American Tree Sparrow - 79Field Sparrow - 8Fox Sparrow - 1Dark-eyed Junco - 
1,272White-crowned Sparrow - 3White-throated Sparrow - 374Savannah Sparrow - 
13Song Sparrow - 115Swamp Sparrow - 8Northern Cardinal - 240Red-winged 
Blackbird - 116Common Grackle - 3Brown-headed Cowbird - 54House Finch - 
109Purple Finch - 2Pine Siskin - 2American Goldfinch - 105House Sparrow - 436


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