The Big Sit! 2013 Team Reports

Check out team reports submitted by the captains of Big Sit! circles around the world.


Circle Captain: Amy Peck

Circle Location: West Haven, Connecticut (United States)

VERY quiet day. Most usual suspects absent. 2 notables: Common Raven, Common Nighthawk.

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Circle Captain: Lisa Chapman

Circle Location: Smethport, Pennsylvania (United States)

We were hoping the previously spotted Snow Goose would appear and it did not disappoint. Good thermals gave us varied raptors in good numbers. Warblers were scarce and other easy birds alluded us. Three red-breasted nuthatches seen at one time and a Pied-billed Grebe was another treat...

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Allegheny Front Accipiters

Circle Captain: Alex Lamoreaux

Circle Location: Central City, Pennsylvania (United States)

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Amici del Farfa

Circle Captain: Edward Mueller

Circle Location: Montopoli di Sabina, Other (Italy)

Purple Heron, a rare migrant in this Oasi, was headed for tropical Africa; I had first seen it here yesterday, and was not surprised by its distant appearance in a tree (see photo) It was also the first recording of a male Red-footed Falcon, though I recorded an immature in this Oasi early in June of this year

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Beauclerk Team

Circle Captain: Jean-sebastien Guenette

Circle Location: Montreal, Quebec (Canada)

We choose our backyard because it is the only accessible location with two young childrens.

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Bill & Claudia in Cerro Azul

Circle Captain: William Ahrens

Circle Location: Los Altos del Cerro, Other (Panama)

We saw some new birds for our Sit circle this year but missed some expected ones. How could there not be a single raptor or toucan?

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Birding with David Simpson

Circle Captain: David Simpson

Circle Location: Bradenton Beach, Florida (United States)

Fantastic spot to bird! The mound gives a window to the Gulf of Mexico. There are several views of the lagoon. Several clumps of trees, including Ficus and mulberries as well as brushy vegetation on the field and broad stretches of mangroves make this one of the better spots to do a Big Sit in Florida...

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Circle Captain: Joseph Devereaux

Circle Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin (United States)

I saw eight Eastern bluebirds land on the iron bridge railings at the exact same time and place as my Big Sit in 2008.

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Birds By Day Bats By Night

Circle Captain: Selena And Mark Kiser

Circle Location: Monticello, Florida (United States)

In the late afternoon/early evening, there was an influx of migratory songbirds and raptor species. We had our first of the fall House Wren, Merlin, American Kestrel, and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker for our property.

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Brumbaugh Birders

Circle Captain: Chuck Mcclaugherty

Circle Location: Minerva, Ohio (United States)

Beautiful weather for a Big Sit!

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Circle Captain: Frank Apsey

Circle Location: Harrisville, Michigan (United States)

I saw 10 nice Bald Eagles between 2-3 PM soaring east to west off of Lake Huron.

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Celery Fields Forever

Circle Captain: Stu Wilson

Circle Location: Sarasota, Florida (United States)

We broke into three shifts... first shift (7-11am) turned in 44 species, second shift (11am-3pm) 35 spp, and third shift (3-7pm) 50 spp... for a full compiled list of 59 spp. This Sit was notable in that we had good looks at both bitterns (American and Least) and both accipiters (Sharp-shinned and Cooper's).

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Chambers Lake Early Birders

Circle Captain: Larry Lewis

Circle Location: Coatesville, Pennsylvania (United States)

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Circle Captain: Al Ahlgrim

Circle Location: Oregon City, Oregon (United States)

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Club Rio

Circle Captain: Cristian Lopez

Circle Location: Monterrey, Other (Costa Rica)

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Circle Captain: John Grego

Circle Location: Fort Motte, South Carolina (United States)

Both Northern Flicker and Blue Jay were active moving across the floodplain.

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Copps and Robbins

Circle Captain: Andrea Robbins

Circle Location: Tuftonboro, New Hampshire (United States)

Last year's count here had 53 because of excellent flight conditions for migrants, particularly raptors. This year's count was hampered by threatening skies that did not encourage any good movement of landbirds or raptors, even though the NE wind was a good direction...

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Dam Sitters

Circle Captain: Mindy Waldron

Circle Location: Jumping Branch, West Virginia (United States)

We didn't have the waterfowl that we hoped would be there by now. There were large numbers of red-winged blackbirds. We got great looks at a flock of around 20 killdeer as they checked out the lake. It wasn't to there liking and they flew on...

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Das Bruderhaus

Circle Captain: Erik Bruder

Circle Location: Bay Village, Ohio (United States)

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Dead Wood Birders

Circle Captain: Joe Sebastiani

Circle Location: Avondale, Pennsylvania (United States)

Best birds were Common Loon, both Yellowlegs, a late Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and a Peregrine Falcon. Biggest miss was Tufted Titmouse. On the low end of Big Sit species totals for this site.

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Deer Flat Sitters

Circle Captain: Cheryl Huizinga

Circle Location: Nampa, Idaho (United States)

12 Birders cam and went throughout the day. All contributed to the species being seen. Since it was a public park, the traffic and people noise was loud at times, but it didn't seem to make a difference in our count...

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DFO Insaniacs

Circle Captain: Joey Kellner

Circle Location: Littleton, Colorado (United States)

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Circle Captain: Helen Wright-north

Circle Location: Dayton, Ohio (United States)

Morning bird activity was quite productive with most sightings occurring at that time. Warblers were virtually absent, yet, both Kinglets arrived in numbers. Was hoping for some raptor flyovers in the afternoon but to no avail...

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East Aurora Bird Club

Circle Captain: Mary Steuer

Circle Location: Grand Island, New York (United States)

Highlights included a circling adult bald eagle, a pair of circling, showy red tail hawks, nice looking great egret and kingfisher and peregrine falcon flyby with a total of 17 species.

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Circle Captain: Carol Kuniholm

Circle Location: Exton, Pennsylvania (United States)

Lots of hawks flying over, north to south. Plenty of geese. Clouds of starlings, grackles, red-winged blackbirds. Two days of rain just before left the pond level high, which meant no shorebirds, except the blue heron and the killdeer which flew by looking for a place to feed...

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Circle Captain: Natalie Haley

Circle Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana (United States)

Great weather, good snacks and smooth conversations were had by all!

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Galveston Birders

Circle Captain: Allen Hardee

Circle Location: Galveston, Texas (United States)

Great fun with family and friends. We missed a few bird species we thought would be easy, but got some unexpedted surprises. The Easter Screech Owl is a great bird for Galveston Island.

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Glastonbury Meadow Scopers

Circle Captain: Bill Asteriades

Circle Location: Glastonbury, Connecticut (United States)

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Circle Captain: Gary Cowell Jr.

Circle Location: Mifflin, Ohio (United States)

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Graben Grebes

Circle Captain: Jim Lockyer

Circle Location: Wildomar, California (United States)

A relatively slow day for this location. Most of the migrant breeding birds have left and few of the wintering birds have yet arrived. The most activity occurred near sunset and early evening when the White-throated Swifts and the Turkey Vultures passed through heading south...

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Grassy Hill

Circle Captain: Richard Chyinski

Circle Location: East Lyme, Connecticut (United States)

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Circle Captain: Valerie Barnes

Circle Location: Fayetteville, Pennsylvania (United States)

Lots of activity, but missed a few standards: Pileated, Sapsucker, Black-throated Green. Not much flying over, other than Robins.

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Harvard Half-Hearteds

Circle Captain: Corey Husic

Circle Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts (United States)

The Savannah Sparrow that gave a flight call within the first minute after midnight was probably the best bird of the day. Not much activity (not that any was really expected), but a late-day Yellow-rumped Warbler was nice to get!

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Heart by Nature

Circle Captain: Cindy Steffen

Circle Location: Lynx, Ohio (United States)

THIRTY-FIVE SPECIES: Turkey Vulture, Red-shouldered hawk, red-tailed hawk, morning dove, barred owl, Red-bellied, downy, hairy, pileated woodpeckers, yellow-bellied sapsucker, northern flicker, eastern phoebe, blue-headed vireo, blue jay, American crow, Carolina chickadee, white-breasted nuthatch, Carolina wren, tufted titmouse, ruby-crowned kinglet, eastern bluebird, American robin, northern mockingbird, cedar waxwing, Tennessee warbler, yellow-rumped warbler, pine warbler, bay-breasted warbler, northern cardinal, eastern towhee, field sparrow, song sparrow, white-throated sparrow, red-winged blackbird, American goldfinch.

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Heartland Spotters

Circle Captain: Chuck Young

Circle Location: Galesburg, Illinois (United States)

Beautiful fall day. Good views of the lake, bay and wooded area of the park, with good overhead view. Great company through out the day. Fun!

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Heinz Refuge NWR

Circle Captain: Debbie Beer

Circle Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (United States)

Unfortunately, the 2013 BIG SIT at Heinz Refuge, scheduled for Sunday, October 13, 2013, was cancelled. The U.S. government shutdown prohibited all access to Heinz Refuge property or resources (staff, volunteers, equipment, etc...

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Circle Captain: Anders Johnson

Circle Location: Alingsas, Other (Sweden)

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John Bunker Sands Wetland Bitterns

Circle Captain: Greg Cook

Circle Location: Seagoville, Texas (United States)

Calm conditions pre-dawn and early morning allowed for us to pick up a few species singing from the treeline nearly 1/2 mile away. Combined with the morning fly-out, we had 70 species by 9 am. A brief break in the clouds mid-day provided most of our hawks for the day...

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Juniata Juncos

Circle Captain: Chad Kauffman

Circle Location: Mifflintown, Pennsylvania (United States)

saw great egrets for first time, 7 at one time.

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Keep Birding Weird

Circle Captain: D D Currie

Circle Location: Streetman, Texas (United States)

Lethargy Encouraged Neither thunderstorms, nor high winds, nor lightning, nor water moccasins, nor a herd of feral hogs, nor mosquitos the size of B-2 bombers, nor swarms of gnats stays birdwatchers from completion of their appointed stations at the “Big Sit”...

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Kennard Kuckoos

Circle Captain: James Wilson

Circle Location: Centreville, Maryland (United States)

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Lenoir Lunatics

Circle Captain: Michael Bochnik

Circle Location: Yonkers, New York (United States)

Birdy in the morning, but strong ENE winds quieted bird movement by mid day

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Let Freedom Wing

Circle Captain: Andrea Robbins

Circle Location: Freedom, New Hampshire (United States)

This was our second count here in the Freedom Town Forest at the pond along the airstrip, and our first "official" count. We ran the count unofficially back in 2008, during which we had 46 species. That first year was a good one for migrants moving over, including landbirds and raptors...

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Letter to Henslow's Sparrow

Circle Captain: Steve Brenner

Circle Location: Buffalo, New York (United States)

No real shockers species wise, but an excellent day to be out nonetheless!

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Little Orange Team

Circle Captain: Kelly Buehler

Circle Location: Toronto, Ontario (Canada)

The day was dominated by an infestation of ruby- and golden-crowned kinglets. They were everywhere you looked - very active and vocal. The brown creeper entertained us all day. Two hermit thrushes put in a couple of appearances...

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Longwood Gardens Early Birders

Circle Captain: Larry Lewis

Circle Location: Kennett Square, Pennsylvania (United States)

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Lower Columbia Birders

Circle Captain: Mike Patterson

Circle Location: Seaside, Oregon (United States)

Remarkably good weather with clear viewing over the ocean to the horizon. Most seabirds were out some distance away. Biggest surprise was a north bound LONG-TAILED DUCK. Notable misses included Ruby-crowned Kinglet and House Finch.

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Maricopa Audubon's Katheryn F. Anderson Granite Reef Asterisk's Big Sit!

Circle Captain: Herbert Fibel

Circle Location: Mesa, Arizona (United States)

The government shutdown forced us to change location or date. We chose to change location after 17 years at our old site, or risk being known as "The Double Asterisks" We did not have our usual panoramic view of a reservoir, and this cut our species numbers way down...

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Metro Munchers

Circle Captain: Tom Heatley

Circle Location: Harrison Township, Michigan (United States)

We were lucky to see a Peregrine Falcon chase a Cooper's Hawk for several minutes, before each went their separate way.

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MetroParks Bird Brigade

Circle Captain: Yvonne Dunphe

Circle Location: Germantown, Ohio (United States)

This was the first Big Sit for Five Rivers Metroparks. We are already making plans for next year. We didn't have a lot of birders show up, but since the weather was so nice, and being birders, many of our people were off on their own adventures in a variety of places...

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Mill Creek Wildlife Sanctuary

Circle Captain: Jeff Harvey

Circle Location: Canfield, Ohio (United States)

Good numbers of birds even though the weather was not the best for a Big Sit. The new observation platform was great.

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MLAC Perky Pelicans

Circle Captain: Jason St. Sauver

Circle Location: San Antonio, Texas (United States)

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Mountain Chickadees

Circle Captain: S. Gray

Circle Location: Sedalia, Colorado (United States)

Many flocks of migrating robins, bluebirds and sparrows in the morning. A Prairie Falcon made two passes - what a nice surprise! Young Red-tailed and Sharp-shinned Hawks practicing their skills. Notably absent: White-breasted Nuthatch...

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Mousam river sit

Circle Captain: Andrew Aldrich

Circle Location: Kennebunk, Maine (United States)

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Nature Center at Shaker Lakes

Circle Captain: Julie West

Circle Location: Cleveland, Ohio (United States)

We were treated to several very close flybys of a mature bald eagle and at one point had two overhead. This and common yellowthroat were new species for our Big Sit! Also had a shorebird fly by, which we were not able to identify...

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Circle Captain: Katrina Fenton

Circle Location: Peterborough, New Hampshire (United States)

A good blend of birds for the day. Pack Monadnock had one of its stronger showings of species for this time of year.

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Circle Captain: Chris Bennett

Circle Location: Lewes, Delaware (United States)

By far the best bird of the day was the immature Sabine's Gull that passed by heading south. Persistent, extremely strong easterly winds kept all but a few songbirds deep in cover for the entire day. We did get great looks at several Peregrine Falcons that came very close to the hawkwatch - inlcuding a few excellent views of birds flying by below eye level...

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Circle Captain: Gigi Gerben

Circle Location: pittsburgh , Pennsylvania (United States)

A female Northern Cardinal with a laceration and missing eye showed up below feeder. Blood was clotted and bird was feeding and later flew to tree branch. Larger, brighter Black-capped chickadees easily distinguished by side-by-side comparison with smaller, duller Carolina Chickadees...

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Petrels In Panama

Circle Captain: Leslie Lieurance

Circle Location: Los Altos de Cerro A, Other (Panama)

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Pishing in the Wind

Circle Captain: Jim Royer

Circle Location: Los Osos, California (United States)

High fog for much of the day slowed land bird migration and raptors. We had many good birders helping, but not many birds were moving. We missed a number of birds that we knew were in the immediate area, such as Ruddy Duck, White-tailed Kite, Red-shouldered Hawk, Band-tailed Pigeon and House Sparrow (hard to get too upset by that miss)...

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Pondicherry NWR Marsh Hawks

Circle Captain: David Govatski

Circle Location: Pondicherry NWR, New Hampshire (United States)

The low numbers of waterfowl, raptor and passerine species is indicative of a 10 day stretch of Indian Summer with south winds and above average temperatures both here and further north. The comfortable weather for birders was also keeping the birds from wanting to migrate except for powerful flyers like scoters and Canada geese...

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QVAS Bird Buddies

Circle Captain: Eric Eichorn

Circle Location: Meriden, Connecticut (United States)

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Rare Jordan

Circle Captain: Andrew Thornton

Circle Location: Pittsboro, North Carolina (United States)

Very slow birding day, probably due to weather

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Regal Eagles

Circle Captain: Don Gorney

Circle Location: Indianapolis, Indiana (United States)

Five species of ducks and four shorebirds helped us get over the 40 mark on this abbreviated Big Sit.

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Resting Birders

Circle Captain: Randy Hill

Circle Location: Ridgefield, Washington (United States)

This count at Ridgefield NWR did not occur due to the government shutdown.

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River Rats

Circle Captain: Doug Wood

Circle Location: Connerville, Oklahoma (United States)

Best birds were Black-throated Green Warbler and Blue-headed Vireo, steady streams of Sharp-shinned Hawks migrating overhead too.

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Circle Captain: John Callow

Circle Location: Great Falls, Virginia (United States)

Another fun day at our 7th annual Team Riverbend Big Sit. Weather dampened things for the first time in 7 years but only slowed us down minimumly. Lighting was a problem particularly earlier in the day...

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Riverside Birding Blast

Circle Captain: Thomas Collins

Circle Location: Kerrville, Texas (United States)

Team total - 30 species I arrived at the Nature Center around 0430 just after a light rain had fallen. Unloaded my car into a large wagon and pulled it down to the circle. Returned back and carried the large ice chest down in a wheel barrow...

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SASsy Seawatchers

Circle Captain: Jennifer Rycenga

Circle Location: Pescadero, California (United States)

The SASsy Seawatchers have a wonderful spot at Pescadero State Beach and Marsh, overlooking the sea, the pond, the marsh, and, as we discovered this memorable day, within scope sight of a first-class migrant trap! The list of best birds is absurdly long - and then there were the birds seen by the advance team that wandered into the migrant trap, and saw species that, even with our ladder and scopes, were not detected within the circle...

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Scrub J-oakers

Circle Captain: Hugh Kingery

Circle Location: Franktown, Colorado (United States)

A raptor migration: 36 hawks, 9 Turkey Vultures, plus 10 Ravens and perhaps 7 crows. We haven't ever seen a migration like this at our house. 210 Sandhill Cranes. A large contingent of Robins has moved in - perhaps to the dismay of our territorial Townsend's Solitaires...

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Shavers Creek

Circle Captain: Doug Wentzel

Circle Location: Petersburg, Pennsylvania (United States)

Large flock of sparrows (50 plus) and kinglets (10 plus), good looks at a low flying Red-shouldered Hawk, and a perched Hermit Thrush.

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Shutdown Shutouts

Circle Captain: George Chaniot

Circle Location: Potter Valley, California (United States)

Since our usual Sit Site of 13 years at Lake Mendocino is on land administered by The Army Corps of Engineers, it was closed and inaccessible due to the federal government shutdown. I decided to look for another site, and why not my own yard? It turned out well: there are clean restrooms, a snack bar, beer in the fridge, and I could drop in every once and a while on the Michigan game, alas.

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South Meadowlarks

Circle Captain: Neil Zimmerman

Circle Location: Seattle, Washington (United States)

We started before sunrise to find the Barn Owl which Carleen did catch a glimpse of. The early showers didn't deter the woodland birds. We had a nice group of Robins and Varied Thrushes working over a Madrone tree right next to us...

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Station 43 Big Sit

Circle Captain: Jay Kaplan

Circle Location: South Windsor, Connecticut (United States)

A delightful day, with some quality wetland birds. We were lacking in quantity, however, with little passerine movement. Birds like chickadee, titmouse, kinglet, finches were few in number and we missed numerous usual tallies like catbird and migrant warblers...

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Swamp Sitters

Circle Captain: Nancy Felicito

Circle Location: Great Swamp NWR, New Jersey (United States)

Swamp Sitters were unable to participate in 2013. Our National Wildlife Refuge is closed due to the US Govt shutdown. See you next year!

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Circle Captain: James Hill

Circle Location: Waterford, Pennsylvania (United States)

This was the second annual "Big Sit" (a synchronized, global bird census) conducted from the back porch of my Waterford, PA, home overlooking a vista of multi-habitat wetlands, cattail marsh, shrub lands, forest, and fields...

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Swatara Swainsons

Circle Captain: David Mcnaughton

Circle Location: Pine Grove, Pennsylvania (United States)

Ended with thousands of American Robins pouring in overhead and a small flock of about a dozen Rusty Blackbirds for the final species. Made up for last year's raptor drought with Red-taileds and Red-shouldereds along with an excellent low view of a Cooper's crossing from one mountain to the next south.

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Table Rock

Circle Captain: Scott Stegenga

Circle Location: Pickens, South Carolina (United States)

Counted 32 species by 10:01am. Last three were after 5:50pm.

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The Carter Hill Speck-tators

Circle Captain: Phil Brown

Circle Location: Concord, New Hampshire (United States)

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The Coops

Circle Captain: Steve Mayo

Circle Location: New Haven, Connecticut (United States)

'Another day of this chronic "Nor'easter", ie, steady NE and E winds, beautiful building cumulus for contrast, and few (59) hawks. Here we are at peak season for Lighthouse, hoping desperately for some blocking weather followed by very, very, very strong NW winds...

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The Kickapoo Valley Birding Club

Circle Captain: Barbara Duerksen

Circle Location: La Farge, Wisconsin (United States)

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The Riverbend Redstarts

Circle Captain: Dwayne Martin

Circle Location: Conover, North Carolina (United States)

Wilson's Snipe turned out to be the best bird of the day as it was a new species for the park.

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The Woodbinoculars

Circle Captain: Rick Sussman

Circle Location: Woodbine, Maryland (United States)

Best story: About 9 AM, we watched nearly all of the birds in or near the yard suddenly fly off, and Mark says "uh-oh, must be a Gyrfalcon" (jokingly), and almost as soon as he finished speaking, a large falcon whipped by at roof level right in front of us, chasing the birds...

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Circle Captain: Bruce Krucke

Circle Location: Yonges island, South Carolina (United States)

I've never seen this location so un-birdy. I was very disappointed in how few species and what low numbers there were.

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Circle Captain: Douglas Wood

Circle Location: Tishomingo, Oklahoma (United States)

Count not conducted. Due to government shutdown, the Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge was inaccessible to us.

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Troyers Talons

Circle Captain: Aden Troyer

Circle Location: Oakland Mills, Pennsylvania (United States)

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Twitch Whiffers

Circle Captain: George Chaniot

Circle Location: Ukiah, California (United States)

Our traditional site for the Lake Mendocino Big Sit has been at the Mesa Day-Use Area. Since it is administered by the Army Corps of Engineers, it has been closed to the public. Take a look at the pictures...

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Under Bridge Sitters

Circle Captain: Ray Scory

Circle Location: Port Orange, Florida (United States)

Our "The Big Sit" day at the linear park alongside the Dunlawton Bridge was a winner. A spectacular sunrise supported by a temperate ocean breeze forecast good thing to come. It happened. Lots of outdoor activities nurtured active minded people - birders included...

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Utah Lakers

Circle Captain: Eric Huish

Circle Location: Provo, Utah (United States)

The Provo Airport Dike Big Sit was covered continuously from 6:02 am to 7:53 pm. (13 Hours 50 Minutes). We sat at the Southwest Corner of the dike loop. Low water levels and very large numbers of duck hunters all week long had me convinced this year's sit would not be good...

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Washtenaw Wingnuts

Circle Captain: Don Chalfant

Circle Location: Whitmore Lake, Michigan (United States)

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Weslaco RedCrowns

Circle Captain: Huck Hutchens

Circle Location: Weslaco, Texas (United States)

Mississippi Kites, over 500 American White Pelicans, a small flock of Wood Storks, Swainson's Hawk, Valley specialties like Green Jay, Great Kiskadee, White-tipped Dove, Buff-bellied Hummingbird, Plain Chachalaca, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Black-crested Titmouse,our first-of-season American Bittern, Least Bittern...

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Circle Captain: Melissa Sherwood

Circle Location: Gig Harbor, Washington (United States)

We are the Willettes, some of whom have done Big Sits on and off for many years. You can see two of our members wearing Big Sit T-shirts from 2000We were looking for the WTSP that had been in the area for the previous week, but no show...

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Wings Over Wastewater

Circle Captain: Ted Drozdowski

Circle Location: Arlington, Texas (United States)

We ended up with 77 species, which was a little low of our six year average of 82 species. This was our seventh year in a row at the Village Creek Drying Beds for the Big Sit and was probably the most uneventful Big Sit we’ve had...

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Circle Captain: Jimmy Woodard

Circle Location: Midwest City, Oklahoma (United States)

this was my first official Big Sit. it was very fun. I enjoyed visiting with the others. it made the day go by faster. we had enough birds during the day to keep us interested and the weather cooperated...

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