Chirps and Cheeps

A Photo Journal of My Birding Experiences & Observations

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  CBC - East Aurora

Published: December 29, 2012
Tags: General Observations, CBC, Christmas Bird Count, East Aurora, Canada Goose, Mallard, American Goldfinch, Swamp Sparrow, Black-capped Chickadee, Northern Cardinal, Tufted Titmouse, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Dark-eyed Junco

Today was the CBC (Christmas Bird Count) day for the Hamburg and East Aurora areas.  I was enlisted to count in Area D, East Aurora, having been asked to fill-in for Joe M. who regularly counts that area. I was happy to find out that my assignment included Sinking Ponds, one of my very favorite and regular places to bird!

Nonetheless, I was quite nervous that my sub-pro birding skills would not do the count justice or that my broken rib would keep me from a hearty try. I shouldn't have worried so much though because, as it turned out, it was a horrible day, weather-wise.  The morning began with over a foot of snow on the ground - and it continued to fall heavily throughout the rest of the day. With the snow falling and swirling all around and the dim light, it was challenging to see anything. I was lucky to find any birds to count!

After I spent a couple of hours trekking around Sinking Ponds, my 2 new expert birder friends, Mike and Ron, came by and helped out with the rest of the count area. Mike drove the village streets while Ron and I watched for feeders. We picked up a few song birds by some of the feeders we spotted, but sadly, almost all of the feeders in East Aurora were empty of food!  I think the economy is hurting our bird friends; the rising cost of seed has caused a lot of folks to make concessions.

Our complete list included:
  • Canada Goose - 370
  • Mallard - 6
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker - 1
  • Pileated Woodpecker - 1
  • American Crow - 4
  • Black-capped Chickadee - 14
  • Tufted Titmouse - 2
  • Swamp Sparrow - 2
  • Dark-eyed Junco - 3
  • Northern Cardinal - 1
  • American Goldfinch - 7

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I was happy to see a little unfrozen area that held literally hundreds of Canada Geese and a few Mallards.

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I walked around the side of the pond to get a better view and do my count: 370! What a snowy day!

Reply from: Lynn on 12/29/2012 6:54 PM
 You get an "A" for effort, Sue! Few others would trek out in the cold and snow with a broken rib. Your efforts are greatly appreciated. I hope you heal up quickly!
Reply from: Sue on 1/1/2013 8:01 PM
 Thank you, Lynn; in spite of the adverse conditions, it felt good to be helping ornithologists by providing good data for their studies.

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