Tuesday, December 6, 2016

7th Annual Plymouth County Waterfowl Survey

22 birders turned out for the 7th annual Waterfowl Survey in Plymouth County. Birders spread out in 4 teams to check on every freshwater lake or pond that could be found. At sundown, the tally was held at Finna's Tavern in Kingston, where both the food and the fellowship was at a high standard. 

Total number of Ducks, and total number of Waterfowl are both at record numbers this year. This is partly due to healthy duck populations but also due to the great effort that was made this year to check out new ponds and lakes in addition to the usual haunts. Start times were earlier, teams split up to cover more bodies of water, and the effort showed in the results. 
  • Record high - Canada Geese in the water
  • Record high - American Wigeon
  • Record high - Mallards
  • Record high - Green Wing Teal
  • Record high - Greater Scaup
  • Record high - Bufflehead
  • 2nd highest on record - American Black Duck
  • 50% lower than average - Lesser Scaup
  • 50% lower than average - Common Merganser
  • Coot are a boom or bust species, and this year was one of the bust years.
  • Notable waterfowl - 11 Pintail, 1 Long-tailed duck, 1 Barrow's Goldeneye, 1 Red-necked Grebe
Other Notable Birds always shows the benefit of "just getting out there", and this year was no exception. The 25 Ceremonial Doves (22 white) seen by the SW team certainly topped the list, and others included a White-winged Crossbill, Red-shouldered Hawk, a late Osprey, Bald Eagle, Fox Sparrows, Common Raven, Marsh Wren and five species of shorebirds. 

Next year's Duck Count will be on Saturday November 18 2017 - join the fun!

Joe Scott

A male Pintail on Triphammer Pond in Hingham and a Red-shouldered Hawk posing at the entrance of Wompatuck State Park were pleasant surprises.
Photos by Steven Whitebread