Johnson County Christmas Bird Count 2014 – Quiet, Very Quiet…

I would like to tell you I have as good a story as last year’s American Kestrel story, but I don’t.

My family arrived back from Costa Rica around 12:15AM the night before the count. So after traveling for 12-13 hours Saturday I really didn’t feel like owling Sunday morning.  And even with starting later it still took me awhile to get going.  I think I finally got moving about noon Christmas Day, 4 days later.

But I had a good time birding with Megan and Jules, even if the morning was quiet. And I do mean quiet. And after listening to Great Kiskadees calling in Costa Rica for a week, it made it even more so.

I just noticed I didn't take a picture of a Great Kiskadee in Costa Rica. This picture is from last summer in South Texas.

I just noticed I didn’t take a picture of a Great Kiskadee in Costa Rica. This picture is from last summer in South Texas.

The group’s thoughts are that once again the weather was too nice.  Without the nasty weather to concentrate the birds around open water or a food source, it seems they can spread out and be difficult to find.

So we birded the few spots in the eastern part of the circle where we could find birds.  The best was probably a Ruby-crowned Kinglet at Johnson County Park. But a second year Bald Eagle along Sugar Creek was a good surprise.  Nothing real different in our area’s 32 species, which did not include a Tufted Titmouse.  I told you it was quiet.

But Tom and Ann observed a Golden Eagle, which if documented and accepted, I think it would be a Johnson County CBC first. Otherwise nothing of note was mentioned at the lunch meeting and Mike didn’t report anything later by email. I think the complete count ended up with 53 species, well below the average in the low 60’s. I did mention it was quiet, right?

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