With frigid temperatures, blowing snow and poor visibility, this was a difficult day for a bird count. Most inland lakes were frozen, and even on open water ducks were hard to find. Raptors were conspicuous by their absence, and some areas on back roads were inaccessible. But when all was said and done, our 27 observers (18 in the field and 9 at home) had seen 51 species, as well as three "count week" birds.
Hats off to our crew of Leonard, Alice and Pat, as they tallied Lesser Scaup, White-winged Scoter, Long-tailed Duck and Hooded Merganser on Lake Michigan. Brian also worked the lakes and added Greater Scaup.
At Crystal Lake Dreeszens and Jacksons came up with three Horned Grebes and a Cooper's Hawk. On the small patch of open water on Platte Lake, John's crew found three Trumpeter Swans. In Honor Tim saw our only Eastern Bluebirds. Larry found an American Robin, as did the Cooks (along with a flock of Cedar Waxwings). Allen registered the day's only Brown Creeper and also added Belted Kingfisher as a count week species.
Staying close to home Carl and Ginny had a number of species that were hard to come by, including Tundra Swan, Ruffed Grouse, Red-tailed Hawk and Northern Flicker. At home they also saw what was probably our "best" bird of the day--the Gray Catbird pictured to the left.
We ended our count day with the traditional potluck supper and tally. In the next two days John and Char were able to add Rough-legged Hawk and Red-winged Blackbird as count week species.