Monday, September 25, 2017

The Benton County Big Sit Happened yesterday, and it was a great success! We ended the day with a total of 81 species, all seen between 5:30am and 8:30pm!We raised about $3,152.

We started the day with a couple of calling Great Horned Owls followed by a lot of birds that we could hear only. As it grew lighter the bird life increased.

On the far side of the lake was a decent amount of mud, that didn't happened to have very many shorebirds on it... However there were some, including a juvenile Short-billed Dowitcher (a pretty good bird for the area). By 9:30 am we were at 60 species and it started to slow down quite a bit. We didn't reach 70 species until about 1:30, but we're not going to complain as we only got to 70 at about 5pm last year!

 Soon after we broke 70 two Western Grebes showed up, we hadn't seen them before this and were quite surprised, as we had scoped the marsh many times previously. We figured the grebes flew in while we weren't looking, it would have been kinda nice to see as it's a rare sight to see a flying grebe...

 The two Western Grebes, species #74.

The rest of the afternoon was pretty slow birding wise, but we had a lot of people stop by and donate. Close to dusk we got our 80th species, a heard only California Quail! Soon after dark we heard a Western Screech-Owl, our last and 81st species for the day.

Over all the weather was quite nice, with a high of about 72 degrees, however in the morning it was pretty cold with the lowest temperature being just above 40 degrees.

Our five best birds were: Short-billed Dowitcher, Western Grebe, Western Screech-Owl, a late Tree Swallow and a late Cliff Swallow. To see a full list of species click here.

A big thank you to everyone who donated or helped in any other way,

The BCBS team.

A Bald Eagle, species #73. Last year we only found 72 species, so this bird broke our previous record.

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