Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Christmas Bird Count

Wow, what an experience! A number of Salem County Nature Club members had the opportunity to participate in the Salem and Elmer Christmas bird counts. We started the morning long before daylight by calling owls. We used a Screech Owl call and stirred up numerous Screech Owls and a few Great Horned Owls. It was both spooky and fun to be out in the woods in the dark.

The day was spent chasing birds all over our assigned territories. Eagles and hawks were numerous. We saw a Peregrin Falcon dashing in and out of some evergreens. Jerry Haag’s patience was tested on that one. I kept saying, “where, where”. It was moving so fast that I almost missed it but he was finally able to get me on it. We also saw Harriers, Sharp Shins, Coopers, and Kestrels.

There were lots of little birds in the thickets. We saw Purple Finch, White Crowned Sparrows, Golden Crowned Kinglets and lots of Juncos and White Throats. In the fields we found Horned Larks, and Meadow Larks. There were too many other birds for me to remember but what I do remember was that this was the most fun that I have had in a long time. Great company and lots of birds…It doesn’t get better than that!

Many thanks go out to club members Tony Geiger, Elyce O’Malley, and Ava Harvey for their help in my Salem Territory. Judy Oshipp did the Woodstown area. Carolyn Howell, and I went with Jerry Haag on his Elmer Territory. Next year I hope even more of you will join us. Marilyn