For the Little Rock CBC held Saturday Dec 14, 2013, 34 birders plus 8 feeder-watchers tallied 179,824 birds of 96 species during a collective 86.25 hours and 342 miles. The list includes two feral exotics, Mute Swan and Muscovy Duck, that are not countable for regular listing, but can be included in the CBC to help track their populations. High counts were set for Red-shouldered Hawk (14) and American Pipit (251). A male Spotted Towhee provided the 5th count record; it was in the same spot as the 2012 count, and most likely the same bird. But the bird that stole the show was the immature Snowy Owl that made the news. It was in the count circle on the 14th, but not seen by birders until the 17th, making it a count week bird, and of course a first for the count.
Due to severe thunderstorms and the threat of flash floods, the Lonoke CBC was postponed a day to Sunday December 22, 2013. Sixteen birders tallied 1143,866 birds of a laudable 105 species during a collective 51 hours and 338 miles. While there were no high counts, and a few on the low side, the list of rare birds is impressive: 1 Red-breasted Merganser (4th instance on this CBC), 2 Eared Grebes (5th), 5 Cattle Egrets (7th), 1 Black-crowned Night-Heron (3rd), 1 American Golden-Plover (1st for the count, 2nd state December record), 1 Say’s Phoebe (1st, possibly the same bird in the area last winter); 3 Tree Swallows (4th), 1 Bewick’s Wren (44th, used to be common, now rare), and 1 Gray Catbird (2nd).
Thanks to all volunteers for your help in this season’s counts! Join us again next season.