The Big Sit! 2016 Team Reports

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

Circle Captain: Beau Schaefer

Circle Location: grayslake, Illinois (United States)

8 raptor sp., 13 waterfowl sp.

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Acer saccharum

Circle Captain: John Triana

Circle Location: Prospect, Connecticut (United States)

Poor weather and limit time to observe left me with a short list of birds this year.

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Alcona Angels

Circle Captain: Chrissy Brackett

Circle Location: Harrisville Twp., Michigan (United States)

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Amici del Farfa

Circle Captain: Edward Mueller

Circle Location: Montopoli di Sabina, Other (Italy)

This year the Big Sit was 3 or 4 days earlier than prior years which may have explained the first recording of Barn Swallow. The count was also 5 higher than in previous years, but no other departing migrants played a role in that...

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Arroyo Colorado Audubon Society

Circle Captain: Norma Friedrich

Circle Location: South Padre Island, Texas (United States)

Very close flyovers of highlight birds Merlin and Peregrine Falcon. High tide from strong North wind kept many expected shorebirds away. Circle included views of a native habitat garden with a dripper, mister and bird bath as well as coastal bay wetlands...

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ASE Snail Kites

Circle Captain: Linda Mccandless

Circle Location: Boynton Beach, Florida (United States)

Our circle was located in the gazebo on the NW corner of the Green Cay boardwalk, allowing us to see the wetlands, as well as the trees lining the park. Our gazebo had benches and a roof and was off the boardwalk proper so we weren't in the way of other visitors to the park...

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Backside Boise Birders

Circle Captain: R L Rowland

Circle Location: Boise, Idaho (United States)

For most visitors this was their first time at a Sit, many knew each other so there was a bit of a gabfest at times as long-time birders renewed ties and helped look for birds. Also had several new birders helping out and learning and much telling of local birding rules, habits, lore and a general educating info being passed on to the newbies...

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Circle Captain: Robert Dixon

Circle Location: Central Village, Connecticut (United States)

Not ideal conditions with fog in the morning and rain showers in the afternoon and also very calm. We still managed to observe a respectable 53 species at this inland location which tied are 2015 total...

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Bell Hollow Buteos

Circle Captain: John Carter

Circle Location: Sandy Ridge Trail, C, Pennsylvania (United States)

Our location had woods on one side of the road, and open field/panoramic views on the other side. It was difficult at times to hear birds with the high gusts of wind. This was our first Big Sit and had a great time viewing the birds and the magnificent fall leaves...

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Bill & Claudia in Cedar Key FL

Circle Captain: William Ahrens

Circle Location: Cedar Key, Florida (United States)

Some of our typical birds were no-shows for the day

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Bird Nerds

Circle Captain: Laurie & Dan Mooney

Circle Location: Plaquemine Locks Sta, Louisiana (United States)

Too windy for the little birds. Almost everything we recorded was on the wing. 11 visitors looked through the scope.

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Birds By Day Bats By Night

Circle Captain: Selena And Mark Kiser

Circle Location: Monticello, Florida (United States)

The best species of the day (for this location) was seeing two flyover White Ibises. That was a new bird for our home checklist! Unfortunately, we had fewer migrants this year. However, because of the clear, warm day and ideal winds, there were quite a few soaring raptors and a Wood Stork (which we rarely see here)...

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Birds-I-View Birders

Circle Captain: Steve Garr

Circle Location: Jefferson City, Missouri (United States)

Highlights of the day: Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Eastern Wood Pewee, and six of the seven of Missouri's Woodpecker species. Again this year we are VERY appreciative of our local River Bluffs Audubon Society members who came out to share their expertise and knowledge at the Big Sit...

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Brumbaugh Birders

Circle Captain: Adam Zorn

Circle Location: Minerva, Ohio (United States)

38 species tallied in total. Missed some reliable species from previous counts that could have pushed our total north of 40 species for the day. New species recorded for the Big Sit and for the Nature Center property was a Peregrine Falcon soaring high overhead and moving south around 10:30am

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Camp Remote

Circle Captain: Russell Emmons

Circle Location: Casco, Michigan (United States)

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Caroline Blue Birds

Circle Captain: Debby Bennett

Circle Location: Denton, Maryland (United States)

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Celery Fields Forever

Circle Captain: Stu Wilson

Circle Location: Sarasota, Florida (United States)

* At least two fly-about American Bittern * Both species of Night-Heron * An enormous (500+) flock of migrating American White Pelican * Good numbers of Purple Gallinule, young and old * A flock of 7 Wilson’s Snipe appearing to be fresh in from their migratory journey * Good numbers of Chimney Swift, a few of which had to notice the new tower at the SAS Education Center * For the second straight year, a female Indigo Bunting perched on the treeline along Palmer Blvd near the boardwalk at the end of the day

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Circle Captain: Al Ahlgrim

Circle Location: Oregon City, Oregon (United States)

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COAN San Blas

Circle Captain: Mark Stackhouse

Circle Location: San Blas, Other (Mexico)

On Sunday, October 9, the Nayarit Bird Watchers Club (COAN for it’s Spanish name) conducted it’s fifth annual “Big Sit,” at the Cerro de La Contaduria in San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico. Starting an hour before dawn, three species of owls were the first birds, joined by a few calls of diurnal birds that were up in the night...

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Coastal VA Wildlife Observatory

Circle Captain: Brian Taber

Circle Location: Northampton County, Virginia (United States)

Unfavorable weather conditions (rain in the morning and high winds in the afternoon) greatly reduced the count this year. Normally, we find around 70-80 species, but could barely find around 50 thanks to Hurricane Matthew and the colliding cold front...

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Commons Ford

Circle Captain: Shelia Hargis

Circle Location: Austin, Texas (United States)

This was our second year to do a Big Sit at Commons Ford. We sat overlooking a restored 40-acre native prairie. When the birding was slow, we watched migrating Monarchs and other butterflies and other insects...

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Copps and Robbins

Circle Captain: Andrea Robbins

Circle Location: Tuftonboro, New Hampshire (United States)

It was an abbreviated 3rd Big Sit at the Copps Pond Wildlife Management area in Tuftonboro, NH, on the viewing platform created by an Eagle Scout.  Weather forecasts were conflicting, so an attempt to count was begun at 5 am...

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cottage 200

Circle Captain: Bruce Krucke

Circle Location: summerville, South Carolina (United States)

This turned out to be a very unfortunate weekend for birding along the SC coast. I had had to take my feeders down so they didn't become missiles in the wind. I feel lucky to have seen 10 species...

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Dam Sitters

Circle Captain: Mindy Waldron

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

Even with the rain most of the day, we had several good flights of birds. There were several species that should have be seen, but weren't. We were surprised at the number of raptors. We had a good day of birding...

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Circle Captain: Helen Wright-north

Circle Location: Dayton, Ohio (United States)

We saw three types of thrushes eating from the dogwood trees! We had three red-breasted nuthatches on the same spruce tree. Early morning brought three Cooper's hawks and a sharp-shinned engaging one another, with a broad-winged hawk bringing up the rear...

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East Aurora Bird Club

Circle Captain: Mary Steuer

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

Both immature and mature bald eagles sited.

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Exeter WTP (Wing Tracking Protocol)

Circle Captain: Andrea Robbins

Circle Location: Exeter, New Hampshire (United States)

First ever Big Sit in this location. Planned circle location ( at the intersection of the dike roads) was too noisy because of filtration pumps running. Tried moving the circle back beyond the ponds, overlooking the river, but flashlight activity by the river revealed duck hunters getting situated...

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Circle Captain: Carol Kuniholm

Circle Location: Exton, Pennsylvania (United States)

Overcast skies and rain made hawk watching more difficult than usual. High pond levels meant less shore birds. And poor light later in the day meant little chance of spotting warblers. Lots of robin and blackbird activity...

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Circle Captain: Natalie Haley

Circle Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana (United States)

High winds the previous day made us hopeful. Highlight was the red-breasted nuthatch. First Dark-eyed Junco spotting of the fall season. Blue skies made it difficult to spot birds of prey high in the skies.

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Fink Family Farm

Circle Captain: Linda Fink

Circle Location: Grand Ronde, Oregon (United States)

Several coveys of C. Quail joined to eat the grain I threw out beyond our circle... a total of 52 quail at one time. I usually only see about 30, but I don't usually sit that long... or throw out grain several times a day...

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Fredericksburg Flighty Flickers

Circle Captain: Sally Knight

Circle Location: Stafford, Virginia (United States)

Hurricaine Matthew impacted our first Big Sit! We had to pick between rain all day Saturday, or sun and wind on Sunday - we picked the latter! The wind was relentless, which kept all the song birds hunkered down and out of sight...

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Grassy Hill

Circle Captain: Richard Chyinski

Circle Location: East Lyme, Connecticut (United States)

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Grosbreasted Rosebeaks

Circle Captain: Paul Fank

Circle Location: Dassel, Minnesota (United States)

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Circle Captain: Cindy Skrukrud

Circle Location: Ringwood, Illinois (United States)

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Heron Siege

Circle Captain: Jessica Rotter

Circle Location: Fort Worth, Texas (United States)

This was a small group of dedicated birders with an expansive view of the sky, trees and part of the river.

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Circle Captain: Joni James

Circle Location: Martinsville, Indiana (United States)

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HRDABRD at Middle Creek

Circle Captain: Bruce A Carl

Circle Location: Kleinfeltersville, Pennsylvania (United States)

"BIG SIT" 2016 - a very breezy day with winds constant at about 10-15 mph from the n/nw with higher gusts throughout the day. starting out mostly cloudy and ending mostly sunny with temps ranging from the mid 50's to highs reaching the mid 60's...

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Kentish Plovers

Circle Captain: Walter Ellison

Circle Location: Rock Hall, Maryland (United States)

Five new species added to our cumulative list of 133 species on E. Neck Is. The best were the 6 Am. White Pelicans in view all day long on rocks off Hail Pt. (#240 overall for Nancy and Walter on the island)...

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Keokea BP Seawatch Hawaii

Circle Captain: Lance Tanino

Circle Location: Kapaau, Hawaii (United States)


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Lenoir Lunatics

Circle Captain: Michael Bochnik

Circle Location: Yonkers, New York (United States)

Chimney Swifts were common. Hawks were hard to come by.

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Lower Columbia Birders

Circle Captain: Mike Patterson

Circle Location: Seaside, Oregon (United States)

Overall, a good day, though very little was happening in the way of bird movement. No notable fly-bys on the ocean. Good passerine numbers in the wetland, but curiously missing kinglets and chickadees.

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Circle Captain: Ron Clark

Circle Location: huntersville, North Carolina (United States)

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Circle Captain: Scott Laurence

Circle Location: Fort Gratiot, Michigan (United States)

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Metro Munchers

Circle Captain: Tom Heatley

Circle Location: Harrison Township, Michigan (United States)

We were pleased to add two species to our all time list of Big Sits at this location: Northern Parula and the bird of the day, Nelson's Sparrow, spotted by Paul Poronto and seen by everyone. This brings our entire Big Sit list from 1996 to 2016 to 140 species...

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Middle Runners

Circle Captain: Derek Stoner

Circle Location: Newark, Delaware (United States)

Challenging conditions birding in heavy rain for the first five hours of counting, and we made the most of the situation by still connecting with owls, falcons migrating in the rain, and a mix of songbirds...

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Mighty Mighty Jizz Masters

Circle Captain: Greg Neise

Circle Location: Hennepin, Illinois (United States)

Beautiful, calm, big blue sky day. Wished for a few clouds, and a bit of a north wind to push some birds through, but overall, a great day of sitting. The morning was dead calm and cold (low 40s). A few marsh birds were calling, but no owls, and passerines were silent...

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MM Audubon Society

Circle Captain: Daniel Perales

Circle Location: Laredo, Texas (United States)

Nothing unusual. Had a great time observing and talking about everything birds and the world in general.

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Circle Captain: Jason Lewis

Circle Location: Oak Harbor, Ohio (United States)

Great day, the sunrise was incredible. Highlights were the two Marble Godwits and the Peregrine falcon. I didn't have any people visit my location throughout the day. All in all...a great day to be counting birds.

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Circle Captain: Katrina Fenton

Circle Location: Peterborough, New Hampshire (United States)

It was an interesting blend of expected and unexpected species with some notable misses that had been around all week. DEJU was the first species observed (6:25am), WITU the last (5:32pm).

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Piedmont Pishers

Circle Captain: Lynne Gray

Circle Location: Greensboro, North Carolina (United States)

Sunday was the first ever Big Sit sponsored by the Piedmont Bird Club in Greensboro, NC, a group known in Big Sit Land as the Piedmont Pishers. It will not be the last. Our site was Greensboro’s Bog Garden, a nature preserve, botanical garden and city park...

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Pondicherry NWR Marsh Hawks

Circle Captain: David Govatski

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

Three new species on the 10th anniversary Big Sit including Kestrel, Cooper's Hawk and Gadwall.

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QVAS Bird Buddies

Circle Captain: Eric Eichorn

Circle Location: Meriden, Connecticut (United States)

Hanover Pond was drained a few weeks ago leaving us sitting on the now dried pond floor watching a river wind through the pond area. 10 Great Blue Herons and 9 Great Egrets most of the day. Plenty of fish to be had since they were concentrated in the river...

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Renton Watchers

Circle Captain: Natassja Cassinerio

Circle Location: Renton, Washington (United States)

There were less birds than usual in this spot, though we definitely saw some. The Hutton's Vireo looked extra floofy today, as did the Hermit Thrush--they must have been cold. Once the wind started to blow a bit stronger, a lot of the bird noise quieted for a while, though it did trickle back eventually...

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Renton Watchers

Circle Captain: Natassja Cassinerio

Circle Location: Renton, Washington (United States)

There were less birds than usual in this spot, though we definitely saw some. The Hutton's Vireo looked extra floofy today, as did the Hermit Thrush--they must have been cold. Once the wind started to blow a bit stronger, a lot of the bird noise quieted for a while, though it did trickle back eventually...

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Robbins Deck

Circle Captain: Andrea Robbins

Circle Location: Pittsfield, New Hampshire (United States)

After getting rained out (by remnants of Hurricane Mathew) at my favorite circle location in Tuftonboro, I ran an Indoor-looking-out count of our backyard feeders.  I didn't start until 11 am, and it was raining steadily until dark so I didn't stand outside to listen, both of which were definite handicaps...

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Sandy Hook Half Mooners

Circle Captain: Rob And Lisa Ann Fanning

Circle Location: Sandy Hook, Highland, New Jersey (United States)

7AM - 2:25PM; Timothy A Brown sat from 4:30-5:45PM Rains came around 1pm, getting heavier by 2PM, then heavy again by 5:45. 7 different species of Raptors - including: 9 Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1 Harrier Multiple Osprey 3 Cooper's Hawks 2 Merlin 1 Kestrel 5 Peregrine Falcons (including 1 that sat in a tree for hours)

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SASsy Seawatchers

Circle Captain: Jennifer Rycenga

Circle Location: Pescadero, California (United States)

This was our sixth annual Big Sit at this site, where our perch atop a hill gives us great views of the ocean, a ridge line used by raptors, two large ponds, and some distant marsh lands. Eighteen participants were in place from 6:00 am until 4:45 pm, with 95 species detected...

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Circle Captain: Mick Zerr

Circle Location: Harrisburg, South Dakota (United States)

Large number of White-throated Nuthatches and Downy Woodpeckers. Absent were Cardinals and Goldfinches.

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Shaver's Creek

Circle Captain: Doug Wentzel

Circle Location: Petersburg, Pennsylvania (United States)

First bird of the count was Wood Duck; a very quiet few hours as owls were not recorded until close to 4 am. Fifty-eight species ties last year's tally.

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Circle Captain: Rebecca Sher

Circle Location: Sheboygan, Wisconsin (United States)

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Sin Sitters

Circle Captain: Scott Hoskin

Circle Location: Loomis, Washington (United States)

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South Meadowlarks

Circle Captain: Kathy Slettebak

Circle Location: Seattle, Washington (United States)

Good day for raptors. Enjoyed close up views of Common Ravens. First bird of the day was the Song Sparrow and last was the Steller's Jay. Most common bird was the Cedar Waxwing.

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South Wind Birders

Circle Captain: Barbara Duerksen

Circle Location: Hesston, Kansas (United States)

very quiet, little bird activity other than Blue Jays flying back and forth

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St. Marks Spotters / St. Marks NWR

Circle Captain: Robin Will

Circle Location: St. Marks, Florida (United States)

Although we had a relatively good day from our count "rectangle" atop the tower, we were lacking quite a few regulars, including shorebirds and several songbirds. However, we did see the pair of Bald Eagles nesting about a mile to the north (they were prepping their large nest), a Reddish Egret, an immature Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (which is not so common at the lighthouse), American Oystercatchers on the sand/oyster bars during low tide, and last, but not least on our list for the day was a Peregrine Falcon (circling and eating what looked like a bird from way up high)...

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Station 43 Big Sit

Circle Captain: Jay Kaplan

Circle Location: South Windsor, Connecticut (United States)

The weather forecast at 5 AM was for an isolated shower then clearing by mid-day. The forecast changed at some point because a drizzle became a steady rain and all movement ceased.

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Circle Captain: Ted Drozdowski

Circle Location: Waxahachie, Texas (United States)

We had some great birds for our third Big Sit at this location. The highlight of the day was a Yellow-throated Warbler, which is pretty rare considering only one other ebird record for the county. Other highlights were: Inca Dove, Merlin, and an Anhinga...

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Swamp Sitters

Circle Captain: Larry West

Circle Location: Basking Ridge, New Jersey (United States)

COLD! We started about 12:30 AM, but the rain set in about 5:00AM. Very, very quiet this year, when previous years we would have dozens of species by sunup. The wet, cold and wind had us abandon the sit at 8:00 AM...

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Swatara Swainsons

Circle Captain: David Mcnaughton

Circle Location: Pine Grove, Pennsylvania (United States)

A blue-headed vireo scrounging in low brush was a new species for the circle. For the second time in 5 years, we had a woodcock display for the first bird but not until an unusually late 0630 time. Tons of raptors today too were uncharacteristic for the site.

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Table Rock

Circle Captain: Scott Stegenga

Circle Location: Pickens, South Carolina (United States)

Unusually quiet during morning hours.

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Team Kingfisher

Circle Captain: Jeff Henault

Circle Location: Dalton, Massachusetts (United States)

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Team Solo

Circle Captain: June Kohler

Circle Location: Mishawaka, Indiana (United States)

Low level of bird activity until around five pm. Birds largely quiet. Many sightings only brief glimpses that were insufficient to ID. According to sign, gates are locked at five beginning in October and I didn't leave until seven...

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The Woodbinoculars

Circle Captain: Rick Sussman

Circle Location: Woodbine, Maryland (United States)

Lots of migrating Tree Swallows all day in small groups, Blue Jays and Canada Geese also moving. High steady winds kept small birds to a minimum as seeing anything in moving trees was very problematic.

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TNP big sit

Circle Captain: Brandon Swayser

Circle Location: Schnecksville, Pennsylvania (United States)

Extreme winds today limited our Passerine observations, which are usually much higher at this site. Raptors and other large birds moved in good numbers. 843 Canada Geese, 95 American Crows, 272 American Robins...

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Tulsa Scissortails

Circle Captain: Terry Mitchell

Circle Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma (United States)

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Twitch Whiffers

Circle Captain: George Chaniot

Circle Location: Ukiah, California (United States)

A lovely fall day which was spectacularly unbirdy. We have done this event at this location for 16 years, and today we set a new low - by 13 species. There were just few birds on the lake, in the nearby trees and meadow, or on the nearby ridges...

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Twitching Talons

Circle Captain: Hannah Greenberg

Circle Location: Hockessin, Delaware (United States)

Good flights calls of Swainson's Thrushes before dawn, along with several Great-horned Owls and a Screech-owl that responded to whistled calls. Dawn chorus fairly strong with the expected species, and a surprise Indigo Bunting singing...

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Utah Lakers

Circle Captain: Keeli Marvel

Circle Location: Provo, Utah (United States)

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Warbler Woodland Watchers

Circle Captain: Paulette Scherr

Circle Location: Arrowwood NWR, North Dakota (United States)

Weather too nice. Very little bird movement. Lake is being drawn down, so some shorebird activity. Large numbers of divers, but no rarities located.

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Washtenaw Wingnuts

Circle Captain: Don Chalfant

Circle Location: Whitmore Lake, Michigan (United States)

Species count was 54, above our average, but below our record. No new species for the 19-year cumulative list, still 119. Several new participants, though. 19-year cumulative list now 56.

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