On December 14, 2008 my wife Danika and I covered our usual section on the Southern Albany County CBC in Upstate New York. Despite the name, we actually have very little territory in Albany County, most of it being in Greene County.
This count was done only 2 days after the devastating Ice storm that hit the area and most of the houses in our rural sector did not have power, so the normally quiet areas were broken with the gentle and constant hum of generators. Throw in the fact that there were often multiple wires down on some roads, other roads completely blocked by tree’s, live wires or debris, made for a difficult count.
Oh yeah and I forgot there was at least 1″ of ice over everything. It was like living in a glacier, when the sun came out it was absolutely blinding, think about how annoying those prisms hanging in peoples cars can be, multiply that effect by a billion and you can see why we had such lousy numbers.
We finished the day with 31 species, nothing even remotely unusal to report. We did have a nice Adult Bald Eagle flyover, but Bald Eagles on Upstate CBC’s are becoming more work than they are worth and the longest part of any compilation dinner is trying to figure out exactly how many Eagles were seen and how many were duplicates. We even had an all time low of 102 Dark-eyed Juncos in our sector (we normally have around 250+) and only 40 something American Robins, a species which some years can number in the thousands in our sector (one year even outnumbered European Starling!). Still a day birding is never wasted and it was a nice way to get the CBC season started!