The 31st annual Johnson County Christmas Bird Count will be on Sunday, December 15. At least it appears to be the 31st from the National Audubon statistics page. The center of the 7.5 mile radius circle is centered south of Indiana 252 and county road 200E. The circle includes portions of a Johnson, Bartholomew, and Brown counties. It appears that at one time the count was called the Atterbury count and changed its name to Johnson County. Does anyone know why?
If you are interested in joining the compiler is Mike Clay and he can be reached at:
mpclay at comcast.net.
Also if you live in the count circle all feeder reports are welcome. Mike will assign teams that will bird in the morning and then teams meet at noon to recap the mornings count. At that point some are done for the day and others will continue to search for species missed in the morning.
Now for some data. The count has averaged 70 species per count in the 23 years of data I could find on the National Audubon Society site. Last year the count was 60 species. My guess about last year was that it hadn’t frozen up north, and waterfowl hadn’t headed south. As seen in the attached spreadsheet, many common species of waterfowl were missed last year. And if things don’t change quickly, the same thing appears to be happening this year.
The spreadsheet can be found here : https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_VAU3vJnj6RUzN6YzdlNVFsZm8/edit?usp=sharing
My goal over the next two weeks will be to tie down locations of birds that fall in the 25 to 75% range or ones on the spreadsheet that were only seen on 6 to 18 of the last 23 counts. Those are the ones that will put the count above the average.