Carden Alvar Nature Board by Bob BowlesCARDEN ALVAR CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT SUMMARY 2015/2016

The 18th annual Carden Alvar Christmas Bird Count was held on Saturday, January 2, 2016. We had experienced a very open fall with no snow cover and above zero Celsius temperatures right up until December 28th. Open water was just starting to become ice covered by count day so we observed more waterfowl than most years for the count.
A total of 23 field observers and 6 feeder counters tallied 45 species and 3703 birds. Both species count and total bird numbers were up greatly from last year which only had 35 species and 2370 birds. There were several new records for the count. New species were - a Common Loon, a Mute Swan and a Wood Duck. There were seven new high numbers recorded for the count. Canada Goose at 216 up from the previous high record of 79 in 2006. Trumpeter Swan at 35 was up from 1 in 2012. Common Goldeneye at 11 was up from 4 in 2011. Hooded Merganser at 7 was up from 4 in 2003. Red-breasted Merganser at 2 was up from 1 in 2011. Bald Eagle at 12 which included 4 adults and 8 immature birds was up from 5 in 2014. Bald Eagles have made a great come back and are now nesting in the area. Other birds of interest on the count were a large flock of waxwings (523 birds), probably all Bohemian Waxwings out on the main part of the alvar and 50 Pine Siskins in a flock eating black spruce cones. A White-crowned Sparrow in a flock of American Tree Sparrows and a few Purple Finches was an unusual bird for the count. Four Northern Shrikes and 5 Rough-legged Hawks were also of interest.
Five mammal species and a total number of 52 individuals were well below the record highs of the 16 species in 2001 and 169 total mammals in 2003. There were no new mammal records or new record high counts for mammals.
A big thank you to everyone who took part, for the Carden Field Naturalists for their support, to Tom Wilson for data input, Karen and Marion for organizing the pot-luck, Paul for looking after the hall. Happy New Year and thanks for another successful Carden Alvar C.B.C.
Bob Bowles, founder and compiler of the Carden Alvar Christmas Bird Count.


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