Jan. 9, 2024 under overcast skies, wind NE 6MPH, temp 31F; sunset time 4:29PM
After scouting the nearby areas, landed at Marston Street to observe the incoming Crows. Large incoming flight streams were from both SW and downriver to the E.
It was a very orderly arrival process with most Crows streaming in, circling, picking a perch and remaining in place with loud vocalizations that subsided within 60 minutes after sunset time. The image below captured at 45 minutes after sunset time.
We had just a few intermittent flight bursts before the Crows finally quieted down and settled in for the night. Another great show!
For the 2023 Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC) for the Andover Circle, this separate Crow Count was 11,600 total Crows, including American Crows and Fish Crows. In 2022, the CBC Andover Circle Crow Count was 13,750. Many thanks to Donna Cooper who coordinates and compiles the Andover Circle each year!
Note on counts/estimates: we are now using improved methods for counting the large number of Crows while streaming, staging, and in the roost. For all images, we use both a modified open source counting software program, as well as a hand count approach, while outside next to the roost, to carefully document our observations and to significantly increase reliability and accuracy of the presented numbers. Please refer to our new roost counting guide on main page.
The Canon mirrorless cameras with the RF 50mm f/1.2 lens and the RF 28-70mm F2 excel in low-light conditions, blending versatile focal lengths with an ultra-wide aperture. Both focal lengths work extremely well in very low light conditions, while the f/1.2 and F2 aperture settings ensure exceptional performance in low light conditions, offering stunning clear, and aesthetically pleasing images, making them ideal for the challenging very low light conditions around the overnight roost.
Remember to check out the latest Crow Patrol Podcast with John Macone (Merrimack River Watershed Council): wintercrowroost.com/podcast/
Photo gear used for most outings:
Canon EOS 80D with Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Canon EOS 80D with Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS (Infrared)
Canon EOS R6 Mirrorless with Canon RF 28-70 f/2 L IS USM
Canon EOS R6 II Mirrorless with Canon RF 50 f/1.2 L USM