Early estimates suggest a good bird count despite low counters for Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

A thrush spotted by one of the counters. (Jennifer Tayes/Special to The News)A thrush spotted by one of the counters. (Jennifer Tayes/Special to The News)
A Red Tail spotted by one of the counters. (Jennifer Tayes/Special to The News)A Red Tail spotted by one of the counters. (Jennifer Tayes/Special to The News)
Almost 75 Mallards spotted by Jennifer Tayes. (Jennifer Tayes/Special to The News)Almost 75 Mallards spotted by Jennifer Tayes. (Jennifer Tayes/Special to The News)
Mourning doves spotted by one of the counters. (Jennifer Tayes/Special to The News)Mourning doves spotted by one of the counters. (Jennifer Tayes/Special to The News)
A Prairie Falcon spotted by one of the counters. (Special to The News)A Prairie Falcon spotted by one of the counters. (Special to The News)

The annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count which took place on Jan. 1 this year, saw low number of participants in the Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam circle, but early reports suggest a good bird count.

The compiler for the circle, Jennifer Tayes, told the News that the count was held through colder than normal conditions this year, which affected how the event underwent.

READ MORE: Birders to gather on the first day of 2022 for the 122nd Annual Christmas bird count event

“Due to the weather and COVID, we had a lot fewer counters this year but so far the early indications are that the count was a good one. The water birds you would normally see in certain areas have moved to other areas with open water so some of those numbers may be down,” she said.

Tayes also said that this year, the counters reported seeing some “good” birds that are not always seen in the area, such as the American Tree Sparrow and Ruddy ducks. One counter even spotted a Prairie Falcon which is extremely rare to the area, she added. She also said that this year there had been a good rapture species count.

“We had several people count at their bird feeders and so we will have a high count of Anna’s hummingbirds, as well as mourning doves,” Tayes said.

A rough estimate of number of counters for Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows this year was just 25 counters however, the numbers from two areas is still pending, she said.

Tayes and her husband counted 32 species, which was lower than normal for them but they did encounter some fascinating sights.

“Because of the snow on the side roads we could not get to all the places we normally count at. One of the interesting sightings was of about 75 mallards just sitting in the snow. I’ve never really seen that before so I took a picture. Good thing I did because in the front of the picture were Two northern shovelers that I had not noticed. The varied thrush really stands out against the snow,” she said.

A final count for the area is not yet available and Tayes said that she hoped to have the numbers in by mid-January.

“Looking at the numbers I have received so far I think the count will be reasonable even though some of our normal areas were not covered,” she said.

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