The Big Sit! 2007 Statistics

These statistics reflect information submitted by reporting circles. As teams continue to report their Big Sit! results, the statistics on this page will change to reflect up-to-the-minute information.

Team Information: The Old Coots

Captain: Larry Michael
Location: Horicon, Wisconsin (United States)

Team Checklist

  1. Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps
  2. Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus
  3. Great Egret Ardea alba
  4. Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
  5. Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
  6. Canada Goose Branta canadensis
  7. Cackling Goose Branta hutchinsii
  8. Wood Duck Aix sponsa
  9. Green-winged Teal Anas crecca
  10. Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
  11. Northern Pintail Anas acuta
  12. American Wigeon Anas americana
  13. Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata
  14. American Black Duck Anas rubripes
  15. Blue-winged Teal Anas discors
  16. Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris
  17. Redhead Aythya americana
  18. Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis
  19. Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus
  20. Cooper's Hawk Accipiter cooperii
  21. Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis
  22. Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
  23. American Coot Fulica americana
  24. Sandhill Crane Antigone canadensis
  25. Killdeer Charadrius vociferus
  26. Wilson's Snipe Gallinago delicata
  27. Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
  28. Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura
  29. Eastern Screech-Owl Megascops asio
  30. Great Horned Owl Bubo virginianus
  31. Red-bellied Woodpecker Melanerpes carolinus
  32. Downy Woodpecker Picoides pubescens
  33. Hairy Woodpecker Picoides villosus
  34. Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus
  35. Eastern Phoebe Sayornis phoebe
  36. Blue Jay Cyanocitta cristata
  37. American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos
  38. Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor
  39. Black-capped Chickadee Poecile atricapillus
  40. White-breasted Nuthatch Sitta carolinensis
  41. Sedge Wren Cistothorus platensis
  42. Ruby-crowned Kinglet Regulus calendula
  43. Eastern Bluebird Sialia sialis
  44. American Robin Turdus migratorius
  45. European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
  46. Cedar Waxwing Bombycilla cedrorum
  47. Yellow-rumped Warbler Setophaga coronata
  48. Chipping Sparrow Spizella passerina
  49. Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
  50. Lincoln's Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii
  51. Swamp Sparrow Melospiza georgiana
  52. White-throated Sparrow Zonotrichia albicollis
  53. White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
  54. Dark-eyed Junco Junco hyemalis
  55. Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis
  56. Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus
  57. Rusty Blackbird Euphagus carolinus
  58. Common Grackle Quiscalus quiscula
  59. Brown-headed Cowbird Molothrus ater
  60. House Finch Haemorhous mexicanus
  61. American Goldfinch Spinus tristis
  62. House Sparrow Passer domesticus

Team Notes

Participants: Larry Michael, Marc Zuelsdorf, Jeff Bahls, Sharon & Jerome Weolfel, Key Voelker, Bill Volkert, Bran & Royan Webb, Richard & Robert Guse, Andy Rothman and I am sorry to say that I know that I am not mentioning a few more birders who I can not place a name to the faces that I remember seeing or who I can not remember their names. Next year a sign-in sheet!

Weather: Temps. 40's and 50's Cldy. and Fog all day. Scattered rain AM, steady light rain until 4 PM Winds were light from the east

Location: Horicon Marsh, Horicon WI Observation Deck located on the southeast corner of the Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area.

Time At Location: 4:00 AM to 5:30 PM

Well, bad weather was bound to happen during one of our “Big Sits” and this was the year. What began as a cool, foggy and cloudy morning, turned into a steady rain and fog for most of the day. It was the fog that I believe held our count numbers down, as it made long range viewing impossible and was not conductive to identifying birds in flight even at mid-range distances. Temperatures started in the 40’s and never got out of the 50’s. The few early rising “Old Coots”, (count started at 4 AM) were greeted by the calls of our resident Screech and Great Horned Owls. These were the only two species that were not heard or seen during the daylight hours. With that being known, I heard a few comments from our “sleepy heads” about sleep being more important that birding during the dark. However for those diehard birders it was a fun time and without them, there would have been no owls added to our bird list. The Horicon Marsh Bird Club sponsors our Big Sit and with each passing year, their participation grows. Even with the wet weather we hit an all time high with the number of birders who helped during the day. It was a good thing that they staggered their participation because if they had all been there at one time; we might not have had enough room within the circle, at least not enough for all to look through their binoculars at the same time. Our Bird Club President, Jeff Bahls treated our hungry clan of “Coots” to a warm breakfast right off the cook stove. I think I heard the words, bacon, eggs and pancakes being called out and for an hour or so we had missing birders every now and then who, when they returned, literally had “egg on their face”. With a constant flow of donuts, cookies, coffee and soda, no one went hungry during the count. I know the Big Sit Captain had an easy time reaching his calorie intake for the day. A big thanks goes out to those who provided the food, snacks and drinks. As an added attraction or maybe distraction, our dedicated Green Bay Packer Fans could watch the game with one eye while watching for “new” birds with the other. More than once a shout or groan about the game was misinterpreted and had more than one birder looking in the direction of the TV in hopes of seeing what they hoped was a new bird species for the day. Our Big Sit location was chosen for not only for its advantageous view of Horicon Marsh but also for ease of access, adequate parking and public restrooms. With that said we always get a steady stream of “Non-Old Coots” who are out and about enjoying the Fall Season of great colors and migrating Canada Geese, Sandhill Cranes and the like. Most if not all are amazed when they look at the list of birds that have so far been seen and with that, conversations are started with most. We explain the who, what and why of doing this Big Sit and usually end up giving them directions to the many other local “hot spots” for bird watching. We even have repeat customers so to speak, who know that the Big Sit is taking place and just want to find out what we have seen and how it compares to other years. Many want to tell us what they have seen so far in their day’s travel. We have increased our Bird Club membership by a few families because of this public exposure at the peak the tourist season for Horicon Marsh. Our total of 62 bird species was a little below our average, but it included three new Big Sit birds. Sedge Wren, Chipping Sparrow and Ruby-crowned Kinglet were added to the list, increasing our 5-year total to 95 species. Not bad considering that the Big Sit date is well past our major passerine migration and on the early side of the waterfowl migration. I know the “Old Coots” will be one year older in 2008, but plans have already been talked about and I think I even heard of a faction of birders who might break away to start a new Big Sit count in hopes of unseating us as the Number One count circle (we are the only count) on Horicon Marsh. All I can say is: Do you feel lucky? and if so Go ahead make my day. A great big Thank You goes out to all the “Old Coots” who took time out from their busy schedules to participate in this year’s “Big Sit”.

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