The 2018 count took place on May 12th. Considering the type of weather we had been having, we lucked out. Skies were relatively clear and sunny. Twenty-one observers in twelve parties took to the field clocking a total of 54.4 miles on foot and another 320 miles in vehicles.
A total of 6885 birds belonging to 133 different species were recorded. The species count was our highest in recent years, although some of the write-ins may always be disputed by the MOS record-keepers. (107 in 2015, 125 in 2013 and 2017, 127 in 2014, and 130 in 2016)
All of the raptor species on the checklist put in an appearance during the day, except for Northern Harrier and Merlin and these are never regulars anyway.
Tammy and Marc had three Wild Turkeys in their territory. This species can be hit or miss. (Especially just before Thanksgiving. No pun intended of course.)
A Virginia Rail cooperated in the marsh along Brown Road, by not only calling, but by showing itself as well.
We also had a good showing of shorebirds with Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, and Semipalmated Sandpiper.
Yellow-billed Cuckoos were recorded in five different territories. We dipped on the Black-billed though.
No Great Horned Owls were recorded, however both Screech and Barred made it on the list.
All the expected woodpecker species were present and accounted for as were all the expected thrush and vireo species. We did well with swallows too, missing only the Bank Swallow. When it came to warblers, only the Nashville and Blackburnian failed to appear. The sparrows would have been 100% too were it not for the absent Vesper Sparrow.
There were some interesting Write-ins. These included American Pipit, Yellow-throated Warbler, White-crowned Sparrow, and Common Nighthawk. Yellow-crowned Night Heron was recorded in two different territories. Susan Bollinger thought she heard an Alder Flycatcher on her property and Rick Sussman thought he had a Mississippi Kite flyover. It’s always good to keep a camera or a recorder handy when counting. You never know!
Thanks to all who counted. Special thanks to Susan and Barb for hosting the Tally Rally. The food and the company were great as usual.
Our next count will be the Fall Count which according to my calculations will be on Saturday, September 15th.
Now for the top twenty species in terms of numbers: