Today was the Christmas Bird Count and I made my fourth trek up Verstovia and down into Indian River.
Day’s summary copied from weekly summary:
It was Christmas Bird Count day, so I hiked up Mt. Verstovia to Peak 2550, down into the bowl and finally into Indian River Valley.
Weather: Light snow was falling when I started this morning, it continued through morning, but had stopped by the time I got down into the river valley. Graupel was falling this evening. Snow was probably at least 3 feet deep out of the trees near Peak 2550 and down into the bowl. There was a thin layer of fresh powder on top of semi-consolidated snow that would not hold my weight. I was typically wading up above my knees. There was a pretty good breeze on the peak and down into the bowl, though less breezy elsewhere.
Birds: I heard much more than I saw, but I ended up going with counts of 10 American Robins, 1 Northern Flicker, 25 Pine Siskins, 25 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 4 Ravens, 3 Bald Eagles, 2 Brown Creepers, and a Common Merganser.
Other Notes: For awhile I followed a set of tracks that I think were Marten Tracks. I also saw several sets of fresh squirrel tracks, deer tracks, and even spooked a deer.
I looked at the shrubs up on the hillsides and did not notice any swollen buds. However, I did see swollen buds along Indian River trail.