I spent yesterday as I do every year at this time – roaming the wilds of Cedar and Yellowpoint from sun-up til sun-down, identifying and counting every bird I can see for Nanaimo’s Annual Christmas Bird Count.
And what a spectacular day it was! Mild temperatures, clear skies, no rain, no wind, no snow on the ground – a far cry from the icy winds and torrential downpours we have endured some years on count day.
We had nearly 100 volunteers in the field for yesterday’s count in Nanaimo – all coordinated by Nanaimo birder Ryan Cathers.
Nanaimo overall counted 118 species this year. In tabulating the results, Ryan says the highlights (so far) have been: 18 Evening Grosbeaks, two Common Redpolls, Red-throated Loons, a Townsend’s Solitaire, a Townsend’s Warbler, and a Lincoln’s Sparrow.
Our team Leader for the Cedar/Yellowpoint sector of the count circle is Steve Baillie. Kanya Baillie also joined us for the day. In our sector alone, the three of us counted 57 species and 2,100 individuals. Our highlight was the flock of 26 Greater White-fronted Geese that flew overhead toward the end of the day.
We tried in vain to summon the Virginia Rail at York Lake, our starting point for the day. But no amount of tape-playing or stone-clacking could induce this secretive bird to reveal itself to us, as it has in the past.
The Backyard Wildbird & Nature Store kindly paid for the room rental for our wrap party.