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Pike Lake Bird Count - 2. January 2010 (27th annual count)

By Hilda Noton, count compiler

The Pike Lake bird count, last of the Saskatoon counts, was done the first Saturday after the New Year. 29 counters participated, divided into seven teams, each covering a sector of the count circle. Low snow cover made walking easy and the wind chill was only in the -20°C range ; quite pleasant compared to -50°C last year. Lunch break at St. Martin's Anglican Church was appreciated, giving counters a chance to warm up, chat and compare notes.

A special 'thank you' to Dwight and Nancy Young for arranging use of the church basement, setting up tables and putting on the coffee. Also, a thank you to feeder watchers Ann Christensen, Betty Ann Dunlap, Lynn and Scotty Oliver who keep their feeders well stocked, adding both individual numbers and species to our count.

Thirty two bird species were seen, the highest since 2002, when 35 species were recorded. This count yielded record individual numbers for six species: Downy Woodpecker 35 (29/02), Northern Flicker 6 (4/01), Black-capped Chickadee 552 (499/08), Red-breasted Nuthatch 22 (9/97), White-wing Crossbill 12 (5/95,92) and Snow Bunting 1728 (1564/92). Way to go, counters!

Nick Saunders, Ron Jensen, Jeffrey Jensen and Guy Wapple observed 24 species on their North Center route. Michael Williams, Bev Will and Bob McNaughton saw a flock of 1618 Snow Buntings. Lorne Duczek found the two Rusty Blackbirds.

Other species observed: Ruffed Grouse 4, Sharptail Grouse 83, Bald Eagle 1, Northern Goshawk 1, Rock pigeon 74, Great Horned Owl 4, Hairy Woodpecker 30, Pileated Woodpecker 4, Northern Shrike 4, Blue Jay 12, Blackbilled Magpie 131, Common Raven 71, White Breasted Nuthatch18, Brown Creeper 1, American Robin 74, European Starling 21, Bohemian Waxwing 101, Cedar Waxwing 12, Rusty Blackbird 2, Pine Grosbeak 5, Purple Finch 5, House Finch 3, Common Redpoll 69, Pine Siskin 3, Evening Grosbeak 2, House Sparrow 587.

Last updated: 6 February, 2010