[Tweeters] Great Backyard Bird Count - Review Records

Rob Conway robin_birder at hotmail.com
Sun Feb 19 21:15:07 PST 2006


I've been reviewing the "unusual" records reported by observers during the
GBBC for Audubon/Cornell. The most common flagged records are:

Large numbers of Red-breasted Mergansers in some locations. The flagging
database is set to throw up a flag at >20 birds in a single location. I had
several reports of up to 200 birds being in the same area (Thurston, Mason,
Kitsap and Jefferson County locations). Some of the observers were very
recognizable names. Given the recent increase in Red-breasted Merganser
numbers all along the BC and Washington coastal waters in winter it is
perhaps time the flag setting be revisited - off or on-line discussion of
this topic welcomed. I'm guessing that very strong east winds combined with
some herring spawning activity reported by observers contributed to the big

Large flocks of Wild Turkeys in several Eastern Washington Locations - Three
flocks of 100+ birds and a couple in the 80+ range. Given the recent
reports/history of Wild Turkey concentration and expansion in Eastern
Washington this is another flag that needs to be revisited (flag trips at
>40). One of the flocks was noted as feeding near corrals on spilled
cattle feed - such a hard life!

The Conway (such a good place name, no?) concentrations of swans and Snow
Geese also triggered flags - with one observer estimating 14,000 Snow Geese
in view and 3 observers reporting 50+ Trumpeter Swans. None of this is
particularly surprising to me, though I have asked the observers to give
some indication of Trumpeter vs. Tundra ID capability.

The only really questionable bird reported (so far) was for a Broad Tailed
Hummingbird in Port Orchard which is highly unlikely. I'm guessing mis-ID
confused with an immature male Anna's . I'm waiting to hear back from the

The records are still pouring in - thanks to everyone for their

Cheers and good birding!

Rob Conway
2006 Washington GBBC record reviewer
Newcastle, WA

robin_birder at hotmail.com

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