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17,717 birds spotted in local bird count

Nearly 18,000 birds, representing 105 species, were spotted during the Audubon Society’s 115th annual Christmas Bird Count in Mathews, which was conducted on Jan. 4 at locations throughout the county, as well as the Ware Neck area of Gloucester.

According to spokesperson Joyce McKelvey of Mathews, 50 people participated in the count, despite dreary weather conditions being forecast for the count day. “It was not that bad for most of the day and all of the sectors were well covered,” McKelvey said.

Her husband Don, the official compiler, reported a total of 17,717 birds counted. “One-third of the total birds counted were compiled of just four species of birds seen in great numbers,” he said. These included Slate-colored Juncos, Red-winged Blackbirds, European Starlings and Yellow-rumped Warblers.

He also said 49 bald eagles were sighted with 30 adults and 19 immature birds documented.

Meanwhile, four rarity reports are pending on a Willet, a single Roug...

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