The outlook for this years Cannon NWR refuge CBC was not very favorable....Most small bodies of water had been frozen for a month (including all of the water at Cannon itself), three days before the count even the river was mostly frozen, there was no snow to bring some of the birds into view, and as sometimes happens the number of people able to participate was much lower than in some years. However, with the hard work of those that were able to participate it looks as though we finished with 92 species. This is bit lower than in some recent years but much better than expected based on conditions.
Surprisingly 3 new species were added to the cumulative list and a number of other highlights were observed: 1) Barn Owl-2 seen as a cw several years ago this is the first time they have been seen on count day. both were in IL 2) Marsh Wren-1 although expected at some point, this was not the year we anticipated finding one. was found at BK Leach 3) Orange-Crowned Warbler-2 again, expected at some point but not this year with the conditions. At hamburg ferry access and Norton woods conservation area
Other highlights include: trumpeter Swan-10 Bald Eagle-197 (and this was conservative, lots sitting on the ice in the river) Herring Gull-75 (a new record by a large margin) Turkey Vulture-16 (a new high for a species on recently expanding into the area during winter) Short-Eared Owl-3 Merlin-1 (at Cannon NWR) Eastern Phoebe-1 (not expected this year due to conditions with only couple previous records) Golden-Crowned Kinglet-44 Yellow-Rumped Warbler-20 (had 12 in IL by sunrise for a bird that often has one or two individuals per year) Brown Thrasher-1 Lincolns Sparrow-1
As with any count there as misses and this year most f our 'misses' were water birds including several duck species we see most years. Other birds that like the water were not seen this year and others that were present were not easy to find (i.e. 2 kingfishers and 3 herons). Due to changing habitats LeContes sparrow (which has been a regular addition to the list) was not found. Also missing were northern species that will sometimes visit the area.
We would like to send our sincerest thanks to all who participated or sent us scouting reports. We could not do the count without you and greatly appreciate the help!! Hope everyone has a wonderful 2014 and we hope to see many of you again for the Cannon CBC.
Cheers! Eric Schuette Denver CO/Troy MO
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