The 31st Litchfield-Pawleys Island CBC-Results

The 31st Litchfield-Pawleys Island CBC, which is sponsored by the Waccamaw Audubon Society, was held on January 2, 2002. Technically this was our 2001 CBC, but we decided to move it from its traditional earlier date. Our count was held under the worst weather conditions in its 31 years. Cold weather was compounded by snow and then freezing rain. Nonetheless, the count did extremely well identifying 152 species, the most on any SC count, and counting 26,339 individual birds. This is the fourth year in a row this count has reached the coveted 150 species mark. Other highlights are the record 49 observers who participated in the count as well as the 17 to 18 field parties. We had two boat parties including one that tried to venture into the ocean edge of the count but was turned back by waves 5 to 7 feet high.

Three species were new to this count bringing the cumulative list to 223. The new count species were: Pomarine Jaeger, Rufous Hummingbird and Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow. The Pomarine Jaeger is rarely seen from shore. The Rufous Hummingbird (3) were birds banded by Gary Phillips and the Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow is actually common in the coastal plain marshes, but difficult to see, and simply has been missed since it was made a separate species a few years ago. Other good birds seen were Long-tailed Duck, Parasitic Jaeger, and Lincoln's Sparrow.

Whatever success this count has depends on the efforts of a lot of people. Many private landowners and managers gave us permission to have our field parties count on their properties, many observers came from a distance to participate in the count, from the Columbia Area, the Charleston Area, Sumter, Wilmington and Rock Hill NC, Frederick MD and Ashland OH. Richard Moore as usual put the publicity out and Tonya Spires did an excellent job coordinating matters on the west side of the count circle.

With good weather and as many participants as we had on this count perhaps we can reach 160 species on the next Litchfield-Pawleys Island CBC.

Jack Peachey and Tonya Spires, co-compilers


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