January 19, 2008
I was not able to get out this weekend due to illness, so I will write something about listing. I am not a hardcore lister, but I do keep lists of birds that I see in certain places. Everyone has their own rules and ways of listing.
Generally, a list may be birds seen in or from a certain location such as a park, yard, official birding circle, or a city. My lists include places where I see a significant number of birds. I do keep a yard list here in Wallaceburg, and it currently stands at 151. That includes birds seen in the yard, anything flying over, or birds seen in the distance while I am on the property. Obviously there are many things that fly over in migration that I have not seen.
I have some good birds, and the Sage Thrasher tops the list by a longshot. I spotted this creature on March 16, 1997 in a yard on the next block. I never actually saw the bird in my yard, but I did see it as close to the middle of the road one morning.
Other birds include Osprey (flyover), Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Cerulean Warbler, Connecticut Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, and White-winged Crossbill (2x). Although a poor photo, the Worm-eating is shown as well as the crossbill. Ironically, the Worm-eating was here when I arrived home from birding at Rondeau one May day where I had also seen one there.
It is interesting to see what comes to the yard in a May fallout. I remember a huge fallout May 10, 1995 when I counted 40 species in the yard (and I went to work for eight hours!). I guess I should have called in sick that day! The number of birds at one time was just incredible. It was the same all over southwestern Ontario that morning.
I also keep a list for the Rondeau birding area. I have seen 306 species of the 352 recorded in that circle. The best was probably the Swainson's Warbler that I found on May 13, 1995. It was likely a result of that aforementioned fallout. In two days that particular weekend, I saw 34 species of warblers at Rondeau.
Another list is at Brander Park, Port Lambton. It tends to be a migrant trap with the woodlot, and the variety of habitat. That list stands at 194 with the best being a White-winged Tern in 1991.
I do not keep a list for Point Pelee, as I an not there enough to make it worthwhile.
Other types of lists include 24h type, especially in May. These are usually the Baillie Birdathon ones. I always do mine at Rondeau. The highest number I have found is 148. Some people go all over the province for their Baillie trying to rack up a big number. However, I find that doing one in a birding hotspot such as Rondeau can bring a higher number. And you do not do all that driving!
Just by coincidence, an unofficial Ontario Winter List came out today, and is being kept at this site. It lists all the species recorded in Ontario from December 1 to February 29 this winter.