The twenty-fifth Quabbin Christmas Bird Count took place on December 29, 2012. When Jim Lafley and I set this count into motion twenty-five years ago, we knew that this count would become one of Massachusetts most remote/rural of the Christmas bird counts in the state. While some of the areas at Quabbin seem to be a bird-less, frozen wilderness. Participants get to travel into areas behind the locked gates and encounter areas that once played host to thriving communities, before they were removed in favor of a water supply for Boston and other Eastern Mass communities. However, the count has a few claims to fame for the first twenty-five years- We hold the North American record for the most Northern Saw-whet Owls..(61) and we usually have State high counts for things like Bald Eagles, Pileated Woodpeckers, Common Ravens, and some years for Red-breasted Nuthatch- our all time high is (1886).
We've also experienced some interesting weather over the years. Everything from sunny near 50 degrees (not many of those days) to light rain/fog...light snow to an all out BLIZZARD that cut the count short that year, but we got the count into the books. Another cool thing about the Quabbin count is the mammals, it seems each area gets an interesting mammal sighting during the day. We tallied up an impressive list over the years.
This years count was fairly uneventful, but we did get a new high count for Hairy Woodpecker. The weather probably kept birds down a bit...Overcast with a late afternoon snowstorm approaching. Everyone made it home safe, but it kept the tally at Headquarters rather subdued with just a handful of observers.
Complete list below.
|Area 43/Horseshoe Dam. Most water frozen, limited road access because of recent snowstorm.|
|Certainly of one the days highlights was this 25th Anniversary cake presents to Myself and Jim Lafley by David Spector......Thanks David!|
|A few of the survivors|