New Christmas Bird Count, Southwest Allen County, January 3, 2015
We probably picked the day with the week’s worst weather for the count, which covered Fox Island County Park, Eagle Marsh and two smaller properties belonging to Little River Wetlands project, as well as four small ACRES preserves including one in Wells Co. Icy roads and low visibility made challenging conditions, but nobody ended up in the ER, for which we are grateful.
Nevertheless, we had 17 team members and 8 feeder watchers! (Some of those who went out in the territories watched feeders when they got home as well.) 42 species were tallied by 8 teams, including Ron Zartman’s 4 mile hike at Fox Island apart from the feeders. Notable sightings were one wood duck, an immature bald eagle, two northern harriers, one red-headed woodpecker, and a northern mockingbird. (What was it thinking?) Another bonus was that we had two new birders join us.
We had a nice article in the Journal Gazette the next day, written by Keiara Carr. I think she captured the spirit of the event as well as getting the facts correct. We thank Little River Wetlands for hosting the breakfast meeting, which unfortunately most of us missed because of the ice. The best part of the whole day was Fox Island’s chili, made by Lori and Brett Fisher: three kinds! And they kept it going all afternoon for frozen stragglers.