Susan Henderson looks through her binoculars at a pair of bald eagles while performing the annual Christmas Bird Count in Peter Jannink Nature Park. (File Photo)

Susan Henderson looks through her binoculars at a pair of bald eagles while performing the annual Christmas Bird Count in Peter Jannink Nature Park. (File Photo)

Waterfowl most prominent in Salmon Arm bird count

Local naturalists saw thousands of ducks and geese taking advantage of mild weather and thawed lakes

A mild December and an unfrozen lake led to plenty of birds being around when local naturalists gathered to count them just before Christmas.

The Shuswap Naturalist Club put on their annual bird count on Dec. 20 2020. Club representative Ted Hillary said birds from 81 different species were spotted, well above the average of 75 species from previous counts.

Hillary said 35 volunteers from the club counted birds between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. over a wide area centered on Salmon Arm but reaching as far as Sunnybrae, Annis Bay and Grindrod.

Read More: Bruhn bridge replacement project expected to be tendered this year

Read More: Recreation properties in Shuswap, Kamloops popular in pandemic

According to Hillary, there were no species the naturalists were surprised to spot but numbers were strong across the board.

Those numbers included 725 goldfinches and more than 900 pigeons and starlings were also recorded. Hillary said the most prominent birds were migratory waterfowl; 2312 Canada geese and 2042 mallard ducks were seen. The number of geese spotted was a record-high number for the naturalists’ annual count.

Hillary attributed the high number of birds to a mild fall, little snow on the ground on the day of the count and an unfrozen Shuswap Lake.

Other highlights included a cooper’s hawk spotted catching a squirrel, a peregrine falcon and a pygmy owl which was keeping a close eye on the bird counters.



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Nature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chase RCMP held two men involved in drunken disturbances overnight in their detachment’s cells on Feb. 6. (File Photo)
Chase RCMP hold two men involved in drunken disturbances overnight

The two seperate incidents took place less than an hour apart.

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Chase RCMP arrest intoxicated man running into highway traffic

The man was wanted on several warrents in Alberta; was held overnight but released

Butter and sourdough bread is shown at a house in Vernon, B.C. on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. A Quebec dairy farmers’ group is calling on milk producers to stop feeding palm oil or its derivatives to livestock as controversy churns over how these supplements affect the consistency of butter. (THE CANADIAN PRESS - Jesse Johnston)
Poll: Care to spread your feelings on butter?

Reports of hard butter have rattled the Canadian dairy industry

Kukpi7 (Chief) Judy Wilson of the Neskonlith Band had words of praise for the consultation between her people and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure on an ongoing highway project. (Black Press file photo)
Collaboration on Shuswap highway project receives national award

Neskonlith Chief Judy Wilson says expansion will open new economic opportunities for the band

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Kamloops Fire Rescue battled a landfill fire which belched toxic smoke into the air on Feb. 27. (City of Kamloops Photo)
Fire at Kamloops landfill sends thick black smoke into the air

Firefighters made slow progress on the fire throughout the morning.

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Approximate location of the vehicle incident. (Google Maps)
Vehicle incident blocking Coquihalla traffic in both directions

Both directions of traffic stopped due to vehicle incident

(HelloKelowna - Twitter)
West Kelowna billboard bearing anti-vaccine messaging deemed misleading

Ad Standards investigated the billboard, noting a lack of evidence to support the messaging

Baldy Mountain Resort is temporarily closed following the death of a resort family member. Pictured above is a sunrise at the resort, Feb. 19, 2021. (Baldy Mountain Resort/Facebook)
Baldy Mountain ski hill closed following death of resort family member

Authorities currently investigating, resort set to reopen Sunday, Feb. 27

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Most Read