The Fayette Soil & Water Conservation District hosted a bird count on Tuesday. Twelve people participated over a four-hour period.
Two volunteers from outside of Fayette County helped: Jeff White from Westerville and Noah Schwartz from Morgan County. Three groups visited 18 locations within a designated area in the northeastern part of the county. Included in the count were sites in the City of Washington Court House, local farms, and Deer Creek State Park and wildlife areas. The Corps of Engineers hosted the final destination stop.
A total of 46 species were identified, down nine species from last year. The total number of birds counted was 3,147 spotted in a three and half hour period which was up from last year. In an eight-year period the Fayette County bird count has had a total of 86 species sited in Fayette County during the month of December.
The weather was cold, windy and cloudy with a high of 28 degrees. The species count was lower this year due to the weather. The group did not see a variety of water fowl this year at Deer Creek, said Brigitte Hisey, Natural Resource Specialist at Fayette SWCD. She said she thought it really hurt the species numbers. Otherwise, it is an impressive number for the weather conditions.
The count is part of the annual event of the Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count. The Audubon Society has been collecting information for 120 years on population trends. A 15-mile circle is created, and locations within the area are included. Data comes from over 2,200 circles across the county with more than 70,000 volunteers participating. The same circle can then be counted every year to compare the results. The count runs from Dec. 14 to Jan. 5.
For a more detailed report of species sited over the last seven years visit the Fayette Soil & Water Conservation District Facebook page, call the office at 740-636-0279, or e-mail Brigitte Hisey at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to join next year, the group can put you on a list.