The Christmas Bird Count turned out to be pretty much a bust for Terry and I.
The rails-to-trails bike path that runs through Lambs Creek Recreation Area was gated. (It was open on Friday.) Normally we would have had access to two miles of paved road, miles of bike path and access to a boat launch area on the Tioga River. Today we had none of that without the use of a bike--which we had left at home. We walked about 3/4 of a mile from the gate and saw precious little:
5 American Crows
17 American Goldfinches
11 Black-capped Chickadees
2 Downy Woodpeckers
1 Blue Jay
1 Dark-eyed Junco
3 Northern Cardinals
5 Mourning Doves
Leaving the boat launch access road, we drove up Lamb's Creek Road to Fire Tower Road and up to the fire tower on State Game Lands 37. As we drove we tried to keep track of the birds we saw in the 20-minujte drive, but even that was rather small:
10 American Crows
12 Mourning Doves
1 Blue Jay
At the fire tower, we ran into a group of two or three small game hunters working their dogs in search of rabbits. While they worked one area, we walked in the opposite direction. We heard no shots and saw few birds in the half hour we spent on the mountain top.
3 Blue Jays
8 Black-capped Chickadees
We then gathered with the others who had been out and about for a warm lunch at one of our chapter's member's home where we compared notes. Everyone reported a scarcity of birds with only one or two exceptions. Some folks saw lots of Starlings, some reported lots of Canada Geese (Lake Nessmunk outside of Wellsboro) and one mentioned that he saw 11 Bald Eagles at the overlook of Tioga and Hammond Lake. Despite reports of eruptive species, no one saw any this morning. (A few of us have seen a small number of eruptives--Evening Grosbeaks, Pine Siskins, Crossbills, Snow Buntings, etc. but no Redpolls--but only sporadically.)
Gary will be compiling everyone's counts and it will be interesting to see the totals.
I believe Terry and I could have seen more species and more individual birds if we had stayed home and taken breakfast on our deck. We had a nice morning however and it was good to meet with the others.