Alberni bird count numbers encouraging

Rain doesn't deter birders participating in annual Christmas Bird Count, Dec. 27 (2014)

Richard Bauer peers through a scope at a scoter near Harbour Quay Marina as Rick Avis and Sheena Falconer look over his shoulder during the annual Alberni Valley Christmas Bird Count. (Dec. 27

Heavy rain on Saturday morning didn’t stop avid birders from participating in the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count in Port Alberni.

Rick and Libby Avis were joined by Sheena Falconer and her daughter Cheryl Dexter, and Cheryl’s fiancé Richard Bauer for a session around the city. They spent some time at Harbour Quay before heading up to the Burde Street Ponds. The Avises usually cover Cherry Creek and Beaver Creek, however, because there weren’t enough people in the field this year they took on several regions of the city, Libby Avis said.

Several people also signed up to do feeder counts, where they monitor the numbers of birds that come to their backyard bird feeders in a fixed amount of time.

Although fewer volunteers signed up to go out in the field, preliminary numbers posted on the Christmas Bird Count Facebook site showed there were around 86 species counted—an improvement over last year, according to page moderator and bird count organizer Sandy McRuer.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

Edited to correct species count numbers.