Monday, December 19, 2011

Prescott Peninsula pre CBC trip

Tom Gagnon and I managed to get permission to go in this morning to the restricted access Prescott Peninsula to scout the area for the upcoming Christmas Bird Count.  We began the frosty morning by heading in gate 20 at 7:20 with the temperature around 17 degrees.  Despite the forecast that the wind would not pick up until a little later in the morning it kicked up just after sunrise.  Almost all water bodies (except the reservoir) were frozen solid so our only waterfowl was a group of ten flyover Common Mergansers.  We only managed a total of 15 species for an outing lasting through late morning.  There were vast tracts of land with no life at all.  The winds made hearing birds quite difficult.  The highlight for the day was the number of Red-breasted Nuthatch's we had in a mile long stretch of spruces in the middle of the peninsula.  We had a total of eighteen with one spot having seven in view at once.  This is a good number considering how few and far between these birds seem to be this winter.  I certainly hope the nuthatch's stick around for the count and some other birds join them.  We had a fleeting glimpse of a mammal that was in view for a fraction of a second in poor light at dawn that may have been a Bobcat but could have been anything.

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