Seeking participants for a Winter Waterfowl Count along the Potomac River on Saturday and/or Sunday - 9 and 10 Feb. You can participate on either day or both.
Birders of any and all skill levels are invited to participate. Please contact Jeff Wright at email@example.com if you are interested in participating on one of the teams conducting the waterfowl count.
The waterfowl count concentrates on a list of about fifty species that we would expect to see on or along the water from eagles to ducks to scaups to herons, etc. This is a rather fun count to participate in and prevailing in the face of the February weather always adds to the feeling of accomplishment when you finish.
Teams of two to five folks spend about 2-3 hours sampling sections of the river and the segments of creeks that are along the river. The teams can choose to go either Saturday or Sunday (or both) and at a time of their choosing. Most of this is generally done in the morning.
For 2019 we will be helping to complete the census of the entire length of the Potomac by adding Eastern King George, Westmoreland, and Northumberland County. In past years the census has covered Loudon, Fairfax, Arlington, Prince William, Stafford, portions of King George Counties, and areas of Alexandria and Ft. Belvoir and Quantico Marine Base. So the overall goal is that teams would cover each of the Virginia Counties that are on the Potomac. For us on the NNK we would be a part of this very well run Citizen Science Project that has been conducted annual for more than a decade. On the NNK we also gain an annual event for Birding and Citizen Science each February.
The census of waterfowl has created a significant data base for tracking waterfowl and identifying trends in the health of habitats and probable state of food sources such as aquatic vegetation. This count also helps to clarify and reinforce some areas of concerns identified in Christmas Bird Counts. For example at this years Northumberland-Lancaster CBC we did not see any Tundra Swans. Yikes.
Here are some of the possible sites along the Potomac that will be “birded” by different teams on Saturday 9 Feb and/or Sunday 10 Feb. Generally two to three teams will be covering each of the three counties.
Kings Cove Creek
George Washington Birthplace National Monument
Westmoreland State Park
“Eastern” King George County
Private Farm adjacent to Chotank Creek Preserve
Dahlgren Wayside Park
Upper Machodac Creek
Let me know if you would like to participate
Please work on your counting skills! For example here is a graphic that depicts “high count” days at a waterfowl count.