The Buffalo River TN Christmas Bird Count, the first of the two CBCs I'm doing this year, was yesterday. The morning was rough, with dense fog and temperatures below freezing. My territory includes the largest lake in the circle; at dawn I could only see about 50m from shore. I did manage to find my only duck for the day, a female Common Goldeneye very close to shore. The fog lifted and the sun came out, and it was a decent day overall. Totals for some common species seemed to be low, though I'll have to look at the final tallies to tell for sure. My territory's species total was down from last year; but that was likely in part because my territory was also a bit smaller than last year as a new territory was carved out in the center of the circle from parts of several adjacent ones. When you only have 8 parties covering a CBC circle, there's ALWAYS room to insert new parties and still leave everyone with plenty to cover.
I only snapped pictures of two birds; neither is rare, they just both presented the opportunity:
This barrens plateau areas of the southern Highland Rim is one of the few remaining strongholds for Loggerhead Shrikes in Tennessee. I always enjoy seeing these handsome birds.
As seems to be true virtually everywhere, Eurasian Collared Doves continue expanding in Tennessee. This turned out to be the only one on the count this year; last year there were several tallied. My nearby BBS route (Collinwood) turned up this species for the first time in 2007. I snapped this thoroughly mediocre shot because I thought the Lawrence County birders might still be lacking a photo for a county record; turns out they already have an image of similar (poor) quality.
Next up: Savannah TN on January 4, the final weekend of the CBC period.