It was a Wet and Windy Christmas Bird Count but not a Washout!
Despite the wet weather and treacherous road conditions, 18 participants in Lardeau’s 26th Christmas Bird Count (CBC) on December 27th found 29 species, mostly by walking. An additional 8 species were seen during count week. The week leading up to count day was challenging for birds and humans; very cold temperatures were followed by at least 18” of new snow which closed the highway on Christmas Eve, which was then followed by rain on ice. A big thank you to the dedicated and enthusiastic team leaders, field observers and feeder/yard watchers in Meadow Creek, Cooper Creek, Johnson’s Landing, Argenta and Lardeau. The CBC is centred at Lardeau and covers a 24km circle which ranges from just north of Meadow Creek to Schroeder Creek.
Highlights include the ‘resident’ flock of red-winged blackbirds that favour Cooper Creek and sometimes venture to Meadow Creek. Black-capped Chickadee was the most numerous species followed by Steller Jays, Common Ravens and Wild Turkeys. The only water fowl reported was at the Argenta turtle ponds area; a handful of Canada Geese, mallards, and a lone Northern Pintail. For comparison, the previous CBC in 2021 when it was brutally cold only yielded 25 species, and in 2020 there were 38 species on count day.
Thank you to all participants for contributing to North American’s longest-running Citizen Science project, the Christmas Bird Count. The information collected forms one of the world’s largest sets of wildlife survey data and is used to assess the population trends and distribution of birds. For more information see: https://www.birdscanada.org/bird-science/christmas-bird-count/
One of the birds seen was a Varied Thrush and some of the group posed for a photo (photos by Jim Lawrence).