The Carroll County Bird Club Mid-Winter Count was held on Saturday, January 20, 2018. Nineteen club members and guests in eleven parties covered 41.3 miles on foot and 385.5 miles by car. 18,299 individual birds belonging to 70 species were recorded. The number of species was low compared to other recent years. 2013 had the highest with 90. Others followed with 84 in 2014, 80 in 2017, 79 in 2015, and 76 in 2016.
Many of the reservoirs and other bodies of water which had been frozen solid earlier in the season opened up enough to allow for a respectable number of duck species. These included Gadwall, American Black Duck, Mallard, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Ruddy Duck, and Northern Pintail which was a write-in from two separate locations. There were no grebes of any species this time.
Black Vultures and Turkey Vultures were abundant. Other diurnal raptors included Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, and American Kestrel. The latter was reported from seven different parts of the county which is encouraging.
Owl species included Barred and Screech. No one heard or saw a Great Horned Owl this time.
Two game bird species were recorded. The Wild Turkeys would have been exciting enough, however, the Ring-necked Pheasant listed as a write-in was definitely not to be expected.
Woodpeckers were well represented with all the species expected for this time of year. These included Red-headed, Red-bellied, Downy, Hairy, and Pileated as well as Northern Flicker and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.
The Yellow-rumped was the only warbler species. Any others would have been rare indeed.
Sparrows included Field, Fox, Song, and White-throated, along with Eastern Towhee and Dark-eyed Junco. In all of the most recent Mid-winter Counts (except 2016) we have had White-crowned Sparrows. This was not to be the case in 2018
Other write-ins included Greater White-fronted Goose, Snow Goose, and Gray Catbird.
Many of the birds we associate with northern climes (like Red-breasted Nuthatch and Pine Siskin) did not appear this year. That was a bit of a disappointment, however, we were all able to enjoy a nice day in the field.
Thanks to all who counted. Special thanks also to Amy Hoffman who graciously hosted the Tally Rally at her home.
Now for the top twenty species in terms of numbers:
|Rock Pigeon and Horned Lark (tied)||178|