Forty-nine people representing 15 different teams surveyed the forests, neighbourhoods, marine waters and the feeders of Mayne Island on December 14, 2019. Collectively, they logged just over 100 km and invested just under 67 hours searching for our wintering birds. The weather was wet in the morning and overcast for the afternoon, but mild and no wind.
As a result of all this effort we were successful in identifying 73 species representing 5326 total birds. Many of the counters felt that numbers were down in many of the usually common species (robins, for example), however, looking at the average over the last 16 years this year was pretty average. The sixteen-year average for species is 74 with an average of 5956 birds for total numbers.
More interesting were the species high counts for 2019. The highest number of birds for one species was 500 and that was for Surfbirds, which is the highest we have ever recorded for this species. Dark-eyed Juncos, our usual number one species, was the next highest number at 440. Following these two, in descending order, were cormorant species (407), Golden-crowned Kinglets (364), Pacific Loons (335), Chestnut-backed Chickadees (243) and Barrow’s Goldeneye (220). The bird species of the count this year was the Long-tailed Duck.
Thanks to all the counters and the great camaraderie at our end of count gathering.