This year's North America Migration Count (NAMC) caught me by surprise and my team had to adjust last minute so we could even participate this year. Instead of hitting the trails in the morning hours we didn't start counting until 3PM. Despite the late start we still had a nice count with 43 species and a total of 464 individuals. Within the first half mile we had a very cooperative Least Bittern. The photo aboves shows you our perspective (basically straight down on it). Walking on an elevated boardwalk does have it priveleges.
It was a good day for waders with almost all the usual suspects seen like the Great Blue Heron seen above.
Emily joined the count this year in addition to my two normal partners, Andy and Holly. She was just along for the ride but she has some eagle eyes and not only relocated the Least Bittern but she also spotted the Purple Gallinule below.
I just love those long toes on the gallinules. Striking birds. As we made our count circle we found the breezy conditions to keep the count fairly cool. May has been a hot month and one of the issues of counting in the early afternoon is that birds tend to stay hidden but some overcast weather and a breeze proved to our fortune.
On the long stretch of the mile boardwalk we found a Roseate Spoonbill, Green Cay's FOS Chimney Swifts, and some fledgling Purple Martins that gave us a quite a stir.
We managed to count the parking lot and across the street at the Water Utilities pond but didn't pick up much except for a few yard birds. A heavy rain loomed and we ended the count but happy that we broke 40 considering the weather, the time of day, and the lack of migrants.
Thanks Andy and Holly for making this count so much fun!
Total species list:
Pied-billed Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant, Anhinga, Least Bittern, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, Cattle Egret, Green Heron, White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Wood Stork, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Mottled Duck, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Purple Gallinule, Common Moorhen, American Coot, Limpkin, Killdeer, Black-necked Stilt, Spotted Sandpiper, Rock Pigeon, Eurasian Collared-Dove, White-winged Dove, Mourning Dove, Chimney Swift, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Purple Martin, Blue Jay, Fish Crow, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Blackpoll Warbler, American Redstart, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Boat-tailed Grackle, and Common Grackle.