Friday 26 December 2014

St. John's Christmas Bird Count

The 49th annual St. John's CBC was held today (Dec 26th). The weather was wonderful considering the time of year - an overnight rain storm ended as soon as the sun rose, and as the wind died down the sun emerged creating great conditions for wandering the streets and parks of the city in search of its birds.

This Autumn and winter has seen remarkable numbers of juncos all across the avalon. 1700+ were recorded on todays count. Unlike last year, they didn't have to contend with a thick layer of snow on the ground.
This is what last years juncos had to search through:

A highlight for me on todays count was watching this adult Northern Goshawk chase after a Northern Flicker. The flicker can count its lucky primaries today because it just barely managed to get away. I also can consider myself lucky because the goshawk allowed me to get unusually close without bothering it:

This guy has been in the area for over a month and seems to be getting used to the many pedestrians.

A mainstay of St. John's birding is the gulls. Today 9 species were recorded, involving 14000 individuals!

Here, an Iceland Gull flies across its winter home with the colourful houses of St. John's in the background: