Half Way There

OK, I was going to post this last week but I got busy, then went to Goose Pond Saturday, etc., etc., etc.

Besides being halfway through the calender and birding year, we’re also halfway through the Indiana Audubon Society (IAS) Summer Count which runs June-July.  From the web page “The Indiana Audubon Society Summer Bird Count is a count used to determine which species are present during the months of June and July in any Indiana county.” And of course I will be counting in Johnson county.  

The Summer count is one of those counts I like.  Most counts consist of a one day scramble trying to see as many species as you can.  But the summer count consists of keeping track over a two month period which gives plenty of time to cover the county and see what birds might actually breed there.

But halfway is really a misnomer since I have already seen 90%+ of the birds I will probably see in Johnson County for June and July. Last year in June I saw 102 species on the way to seeing 108 species total.  This year I am a little behind with only 94 species seen in June.  Probably something to do with birding in Texas for a week in June. But after communicating with other birders in the county we are doing OK as a group because others have seen the species I have missed.

So now the fun part of the count, when I can target habitat and birds.  And inevitably when I target an area I always seem to pick up other species that I hadn’t expected.  Especially the last week of July when hopefully migrating shorebirds will be coming through like they did last year.

I really haven’t seen any unexpected birds in June except the Olive-sided Flycatcher and Mute Swans seen on June 1. But I haven’t come across a breeding Blue-winged Teal like I did last year at the famed Lowes/Walmart pond. And the grass was cut at Atterbury’s Bobolink field at the end of May, so no Bobolinks.

But hopefully I will come across a migrating Cliff Swallow or Sedge Wren later in the month.  Or even an Upland Sandpiper or Loggerhead Shrike.  OK, I’m dreaming.

Here are some summer birds from 2009 in Illinois.

OK, I have already seen you this June.  Green Heron – Green River SP, IL 07/04/09

GRHE 070409

Saw one of your friends last June, but not this year.  American Coot –  Green River SP, IL 07/04/09

AMCO and Young 070409

Saw lots of you this June.  Common Yellowthroat – Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, IL 06/12/09

COYE 061209

And you too.  Killdeer – Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area, IL 06/12/09

KILL 061209

But they cut the grass, so not good odds on seeing you this summer in Johnson County.   Bobolink – Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, IL 06/12/09

BOBO 061209

And here is one for dreaming in Johnson County.  But you never no!  Loggerhead Shrike – Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, IL 06/12/09

LOSH 061209

So, how is your Summer Count coming?  Let me know.

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