Get ready for Christmas bird counts

Christmas is once again coming early for local birdwatchers.

The annual Sequim-Dungeness Christmas Bird Count is set for Monday, Dec. 18. Each Christmas Bird Count covers a 15-mile diameter count circle, so event organizers are looking for plenty of participants to cover as much of the areas as possible, even if they simply count their feeders or stroll around their neighborhood for an hour or two.

Bird count organizers will also have field parties assigned to specific areas of each count circle.

To prepare, you can spend time studying birds of the area and go on Wednesday morning bird walks at Railroad Bridge Park and Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society field trips.

The center of the Sequim bird count circle is near the intersection of Brown and Port Williams Road and includes Dungeness Spit, Dungeness and Sequim Bays, Protection Island, Diamond Point and some of the Olympic foothills south of Sequim.

A pre-Christmas Bird Count warm-up field trip on Saturday, Dec. 9, starting at the Dungeness River Audubon Center at 9 a.m., when participants will view land birds at Railroad Bridge Park, then travel to Dungeness Bay to observe water birds.

Those interested in participating are asked to call Bob Boekelheide at 360-808-0196 or email bboek@olympus.net to sign up.

Other local Christmas Bird Counts include the Port Townsend on Saturday, Dec. 16, Neah Bay CBC on Sunday, Dec. 17, and Port Angeles on Saturday, Dec. 30.

For more about other are bird counts, contact Dan Waggoner (Port Townsend) at danwags57@gmail.com, Charlie Wright (Neah Bay) at cwright7@uw.edu or Barb Blackie (Port Angeles) at blackieb@olypen.com.

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