by Donald Jones
We had 21 participants battle a snowy Morning. Thankfully the snow diminished by 9:30 AM leaving us a calm snowy landscape. An attempt at owling (3.5 hours) came up with a total of “0” Owls. Thankfully we had a volunteer take a drift boat down the Kootenai River and came up with some sweet birds. Bird numbers were again low (in my estimate) but were helped by a large # of Pine Siskins (2693 – an underestimate). Total species # were 57 for count day and 4 for CW, these numbers are up from our usual of about 43-47 species. Highlights from the count were Marsh Wren, American Tree Sparrow (Troy is not the best habitat for this species) and the jewel was a Common Yellowthroat found along the Kootenai River (seen by 3 observers). Birds missing from this year’s count but typically found were Waxwings (either Sp.) Pacific Wren, Golden Eagle and Common Merganser.
Like all counts around the country, Troy’s count was anything but a social event – no group breakfast, no potluck dinner and caravanning rather than carpooling. So on that note Thank You to all that participated when in the past Troy’s count was always seen as a big birding social event – next year, we hope.