Local Christmas bird count set for Dec. 18
Bird fanciers in Oceanside are polishing up their binocular lenses and fishing out their bird books in preparation for this year’s Christmas bird count.
Organizer Sandra Gray said this year’s count will take place on Sunday, Dec. 18, with eight teams fanning out across the area, counting every feathered friend in a 24-kilometre radius centred on French Creek.
Although Gray has about 20 people signed up to tramp the woods and fields so far, she said there is still room available for anyone who would like to take part.
“Finding skilled people is always a challenge, but I really try to include beginners and people who feel they are inexperienced,” she said.
“We usually end up with about 35 to 40 birders, which is about right for the eight teams.”
She stressed however that not everyone who takes part in the annual bird count has to gear up in gumboots on the big day. More leisurely participation is also appreciated, she said.
“A lot of people just stay home and count and identify the birds at their feeders,” she said. “Some people just walk their own neighbourhoods.”
Gray noted feeder checklists will be available at the Buckerfields store in Parksville and noted she is willing to provide instruction to anyone who feels they need it.
The event, sponsored by the Arrowsmith Naturalists, starts at daybreak and usually continues to 4 p.m. Participants will be able to enjoy a post-count wrap up at the St. Ann’s St. Edmund’s church hall.
For more information or to get involved, contact Gray at 250-248-5565.