Wednesday, December 31, 2014
On December 20 our club conducted the City of Muskegon Christmas Bird Count. Twenty-one people in six groups spent six hours surveying a circle within 7.5 miles of downtown Muskegon.
Dayle Vanderwier's south group of eight people counted 1,181 birds of 39 different species including a fairly dark Snowy Owl at the Muskegon Channel and the the only Cedar Waxwings (47) of the day.
Two central groups (Feller DeWitt's group of two and Charlie DeWitt's group of three) counted 993 of 17 species and 116 of 8 species respectively including the only Red-tailed Hawk and Song Sparrow of the day.
Ken Sherburn's north group of eight people counted 222 birds of 27 species in the morning including a mostly white Snowy Owl at Muskegon State Park and the only Barred Owl and Brown Creepers (4) of the day. His group of three in the afternoon counted 149 birds of 11 species at the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve, all the usual suspects.
Brian Johnson began with the north group but departed and continued on to the Campground Overlook at Muskegon State Park for a shoreline count. Two of his findings were record high numbers for the Muskegon CBC: 1 Hermit Thrush and 6 Pileated Woodpeckers (previous high of 5). He also saw the only Cooper's Hawk, Common Redpoll, Red-headed Woodpecker and Greater Black-backed Gull of the day.
In total the participants found 2,727 birds of 50 species.
I have the Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) file for National Audubon with total count numbers and an Excel (.xls) spreadsheet file with group and total count numbers if anyone wants them. - Ric
Sunday, December 21, 2014
We're processing the data from our two Christmas Bird Counts: Dec. 17 Wastewater Circle (Brian Johnson, leader) and Dec. 20 City of Muskegon Circle (Feller DeWitt, Charlie DeWitt, Ric Pedler, Ken Sherburn and Dayle Vanderwier, group leaders).
We'll post the totals once they're compiled. Meanwhile here are four pictures (first, second and fourth by Carol Cooper) from the northside where eight people walked Muskegon State Park from 8:00 til noon finding 273 birds of 22 species (not including the thousands of distant ducks flying far out over Lake Michigan).