by Rob Rich

Swan Valley Connections held the Upper Swan Valley Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, December 21.

Early morning fog burned off for a clear day of birding, with temperatures in the mid-30s and patchy snow on the ground that had not melted in the mild week leading up to the count. Sixteen birders participated in the count, and together they tallied 24 different species and 267 individual birds.

Most people counted birds while walking on foot, but there was some driving and feeder-watching too. A deer killed on the road the night before contributed to the record number of Bald Eagles (18) and Common Ravens (89), but other highlights included a Sharp-shinned Hawk, American Dipper, and Clark’s Nutcracker.

Thanks to all who supported the success of this event!