On January 5th, the final day of the 2012-2013 Christmas Bird Count , 20 birders in 8 teams, spread out across the varied terrain of the Hinesburg count circle. The Hinesburg CBC covers the towns of Hinesburg, Huntington , St George and parts of Williston, Richmond, Starksboro, Monkton, No. Ferrisburg and Charlotte. 4715 individual birds were counted, the second highest number in the counts 20 year history. A total of 49 species was also a second place finish.
Highlights included a count first adult Golden Eagle observed by Ellen Spring and Mary Crane above State's Prison Hollow rd. in Starksboro. Two Ring-necked Pheasants seen in Monkton by Liz Lee and Louanne Nielson were also a count first. Red-bellied Woodpeckers had their best showing to date with 4 observations compared with a count high of one in three other recent years. Hairy woodpeckers were particularly abundant with 45 seen compared to a previous high count of 29 in 2002. Another common feeder bird, White-breasted Nuthatch, tallied 83 individuals surpassing a high of 77, also in 2002. Barred Owls are showing up regularly this winter in the Champlain Valley and a total of 4 ties the previous high count. Following state wide trends, Common Redpolls were indeed common almost doubling 1998 's record of 471 with a total of 931for this year. Other near high counts were Eastern Bluebird (25), No. Cardinal (81), Am. Tree Sparrow (177) and Belted Kingfisher(2).
A few other species that are often common were noticeably absent or in very low numbers. Roughed Grouse (2),Red-breasted Nuthatch(2),Cedar Waxwing(0),Purple Finch(0), Pine Siskin(1),and Evening Grosbeak (0). The early winter invasion of Pine Grosbeaks seemed to have moved on as we struggled to locate a scant four birds.
Paul Wieczoreck, Compiler