Saturday, December 18, 2010

Snow, Snow, Must be Hungry Hollow

I headed up to Arkona late Friday to do the Kettle Point Christmas Bird Count today.  Stayed in Hungry Hollow at Pete Chapman's as usual.  I got some appreciation of the snow that Eastern Lambton and Middlesex County received earlier this week.  Good Grief!  We are not used to that much snow, although that area tends to get dumped on in the right conditions.  They perhaps received upwards of three feet, and the drifts were incredible. Walking was limited.  There were not many birds anyway.  I think they bailed! Or got buried?

I could not be bothered with the camera today, although I should have to get shots of the snow and scenery and one particular bird.
Highlight of the day was an adult male Rose-breasted Grosbeak coming to Pete's feeders.  Apparently it has been there a while.  It appears healthy, as it eats sunflower seeds.  It is one mixed up bird.
Pete will welcome viewers, but you will likely need to come into the house as the feeders are at the back and the birds will be spooked otherwise.  Pete's house is in Hungry Hollow, about 3 km east of Arkona. Arkona is between Strathroy and Forest. To get to the house, go east on Townsend Line out of Arkona (also called County Rd. 12) for about 3 km. Turn left (north) on Sylvan Rd. His house is less than a km ahead on the right, #30544.

Pete has had some good birds there in the past including a Brambling in the winter of 1994 and a Mountain Bluebird a few years previous to that.
Today we worked for the birds.  We did come across a pair of Eastern Bluebirds along the Ausable River after a long and strenuous walk (due to snow depth).  I finally got a Shrike.  I don't think I saw one all last winter! Weird.
Owling early this morning produced 4 screech Owls and one Great Horned.  It was very windy today so spots were limited.  We did come across another Great Horned along Ridge Road.  I spotted it roosting in a Pine tree as we drove by.  Almost missed it.  It never moved, but looked our way as I made some squeaking sounds.
Chickadees were plentiful and we had one Tufted Titmouse.

Rock Glen was completely birdless--highly unusual, but we did not spend much time there due to snow depth.  I usually spend the whole morning there and along the river tallying many birds.

Never got an eagle--highly unusual.

Lots of juncos at feeders, including one Oregon.  We quite often get Oregon on that count.

Well, must rest up for Rondeau tomorrow.  Should be interesting..... Will bring camera....

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