The 43rd SCNWA CBC was held on Jan 1, 2023. Seventeen birders scoured the circle and the final tally is 76 species, notably less than the 81 species average for the past two decades.
The weather was by far, less than ideal, with foggy/misty conditions for most of the morning, switching to rain by mid-day. At least it wasn't the blizzard like conditions of the week prior. Scoping for waterfowl is always an important aspect of this count. In spite of the poor scoping conditions, we still managed 19 species of waterfowl, which is less than the typical 25 or so species we hope for, and well below cumulative the total of 32 species. Fortunately, we had access to almost all of the high-quality wetlands which occur within the circle, the first time for this in several years.
There were no new species for this count, so the total remains at 143 species. There were new high counts for the following, with the previous high in brackets:
Trumpeter Swan—4 (1)
Wild Turkey—54 (31)
Eastern Bluebird—7 (2)
The American Crow roost continues, and while we did not undertake a formal roost count as they leave in the morning, a guesstimate total of about 90000 birds were tallied which may be an underestimate. This is well below the all-time high of 159860 birds tallied during the last time a formal roost count was undertaken, and in reality, the overall number has not seemed to diminish to any great degree.
Notable misses include: Mute Swan and Snowy Owl. This is the first time in 12 years that Snowy Owls have not been recorded, and is certainly a departure from the previous year when we had a record 23 individuals! Another miss was Rough-legged Hawk, the first time it has not been reported in more than two decades.
Allen Woodliffe, compiler