Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Getting ready for Christmas Counts

We spent this past weekend checking out various sections of the Sturbridge Christmas Count. This is 1 of 5 counts that we do, and this one is the newest count -- Mark created it and submitted it for approval only about six years ago. We actually started out just before 7 a.m. at Orlando's Pond in Charlton looking for (and finding) the Barnacle Goose. By 7:10 all the geese had left the pond and we spent the next several hours checking for geese in all the fields we could in the general area, hoping we could find where they go during the day....but to no avail. Hopefully the Barnacle will stay for the Christmas Count (12/16) and John Liller will get it at Orlando's! While we were searching for the goose we were kept company by this interesting group of large bulls....
As we surveyed other areas throughout the weekend, we found that Tree Sparrows had put in in good numbers....
and a tree-ful of Cedar Waxwings had us looking for that one "different" bird....
No Bohemians were to be found, but a small group of hardy Bluebirds were at Coy's Brook in West Brookfield on Sunday.
And we found the usual large flock of Turkeys on Old Wickabog Road near the barn where the owners obviously keep them well-fed during the winter.
Probably my highlight for the weekend was this great Red-shouldered Hawk we found right off Rt. 20 in Sturbridge -- just down the road from Bill & Nancy Cormier's wonderful store (The Bird Store and More).
It's always fun to check out the area before the Count, and you just hope that the birds you find will stay....unfortunately, they don't always cooperate. But it does give you a sort of "target list" since you do know what's around.

The Sturbridge count is one of my favorites....it's local, we have the compilation in Bill & Nancy's store, and it's always before Christmas, so I can pick up one or two last minute gifts at the compilation!


  1. As always, fantastic photos. I am actually going to participate in my first Christmas Bird Count this year in Worcester at Broad Meadow Brook. I submitted my request and can't wait to hear back from the coordinator.

    I looked at Stubridge as well but can't make it that day.

    Have a great day.

  2. How great you're doing your first Christmas Count. We'll be doing the Worcester one as well, so if you're at the compilation make sure you say "hi"