Leadbetter Point Christmas Bird Count

Absent for several years, the Great Egret was observed this year.

The weather co-operated for the Christmas Bird Count at Leadbetter Point on December 16, 2017. With over 100 species and over 24,000 birds tallied, it was an incredible day. Several of the Friends members participated, with Robert Sudar of the Willapa Hills Audubon Society along with his son, Sam Sudar, compiling the results. The report below is from Robert’s observations and indicates the highlights of the count. When the full data becomes available, a future article will look at the results in terms of population counts and what the overall trends suggest for our area.

110 species observed. That’s a great total and the best in several years.

Notable sightings: 
–White-winged Crossbill
–Band-tailed Pigeons
–Black, Surf and White-winged Scooters
–Common, Pacific and Red-Throated Loons
We are continuing to see increasing numbers of Western Grebes after becoming a bit of a rarity 10 – 15 years ago. Around 35 Western Grebes this year, along with Horned, Red-necked and Pied-billed Grebes. We know Pileated Woodpecker are around, but we don’t always see them.

Pine Siskins were seen in great numbers a few weeks prior to the Count, but only one was observed on the day.

 Notable absences:
–Scaups – only a single Scaup spotted.
–American Coot
–American Bittern (we usually see at least one)
–Mourning Dove

Notable “returnee”: Great Egret; we hadn’t had one for several years.

Changing trends?
–Only one Pine Siskin. Pine Siskins were seen in great numbers a few weeks prior to the count, but only one was observed on the day.
–Many more Eurasian Collared Doves than Mourning Doves (43 vs. 0!)
–Western Scrub Jays continue to be present