Posted by: PMGDD | January 15, 2022

Results – Miramichi Christmas Bird Count

From: Pam Watters <>
Sent: Saturday, January 15, 2022 2:18 PM
Subject: Results – Miramichi Christmas Bird Count

Thank you for participating in the 50th Miramichi Christmas Bird Count (CBC)! Thanks to your participation we had a very successful count.

The results of the CBC can be found on the Nature Miramichi website at the link below – scroll down to the Christmas Bird Count section. Also available is a table of CBC results from 1972 to present. Our results have been sent to the NB provincial CBC coordinator as well as entered into the Audubon/Birds Canada database.

It was wonderful to have Ian Walker and Elayne Walker, Harry Walker’s son and daughter, participate in the count. Many of you will remember Harry Walker who was one of the original founders of the Miramichi CBC, and the compiler of the count until 2009. Ian participated in the first CBC in 1972 (and was also a compiler for several years) so it was great to have his expertise on the 50th count!

We observed 4,080 individuals of 36 species on count day – this is the highest number of birds that we have recorded in 50 years! This is partially due to the high numbers of Bohemian Waxwings and European Starlings. We recorded an amazing 1,239 Bohemian Waxwings (the highest number we have recorded) and 867 European Starlings. There was a large flock of 700 Bohemian Waxwings observed in the Newcastle area which must have been spectacular to see. There seems to be lots of Mountain Ash berries around this year to keep them well fed. Perhaps this is also part of the reason that 70 American Robins were observed on count day.

We had a nice variety of species as 36 species were observed on count day. Our average number of species seen on count day over the years is 30 species, so it was nice to be above average! We also recorded 3 extra species during count week (December 16-22), and 5 extra species during count period (December 14-January 5). This brings the total for the count period to 44 species – amazing to know that there are so many species of birds spending the winter here!

Since there were a lot of open areas in the river, several species of waterfowl were observed including Canada Geese, Common Merganser and Common Goldeneye. We located a pair of Lesser Scaup in the Newcastle water treatment lagoons – the first time we have recorded this species on our CBC. There were also large numbers of Mallards and American Black Ducks observed on count day.

There were many species of finch around this year with American Goldfinch the most numerous on the CBC. It’s very special to see so many White-winged Crossbills around this year as well.

Notable birds for the count include the Lesser Scaup mentioned above, a Song Sparrow visiting feeders in Newcastle, and a Peregrine Falcon observed during the count period near the Morrissey Bridge (first time we have observed one during the count period). In addition to the Peregrine, raptors were well represented with 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks and 10 Bald Eagles on count day, a Northern Goshawk during count week, and a Cooper’s Hawk during the count period.

Thank you again for participating, and enjoy the winter birds!

Pam Watters

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