Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Counts and Weather

More of a filler post for tonight as the wacky weather continues.  Monday was nice and sunny though (weekend was over), but I hear up Arkona way 25 cm of snow fell in the morning!

Do you recognize this spot?

We are in the midst of the Christmas Bird Counts (CBC's) and results are coming in.  Not surprisingly, numbers are down from previous years.  There are a lot of reasons, one being the early onset of winter (or at least what we have been used to in recent years).  Birds bailed!
Some things are sticking out such as the number of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers being found. The Rondeau count had several (two in the park campground and two just outside the park).  Several counts have reported these.
One of the Rondeau sapsuckers on Sunday

The Blenheim (Rondeau) count may take the cake this year with 98 species.  Have not heard of any higher totals...yet.

I noticed several Gray Catbirds have been reported as well.

One theme, at least in these parts is the lack of American Tree Sparrows.  I saw a couple of small flocks on the Rondeau count, but only a couple of individuals on the Kettle Point count!

Dark-eyed Juncos are in good numbers though.

Some good birds for winter reported such as the Virginia Rail that Maris Apse found.  I have found that species on the Rondeau count in the past, and even a Sora on the St. Clair NWA count.

Rondeau Scene

The crappy weekend weather did not help matters even though the snow helped concentrate birds.  Getting around was difficult as mentioned in many count summaries.  Looks like this coming weekend will be crappy yet again (if one believes the forecasts)!  We have not had a perfect weather weekend since early September according to my calculations. That is over three months!  While a Saturday or Sunday may have been nice here and there, two good days in a row never happened.  Thinking about it, we have seen very little sun in the last several weeks.  Does not help one's attitude!

Anne's Bench

I was going through eBird this evening and three Varied Thrushes have been reported.  Most often they show up at feeders in the winter in Ontario and this year is no exception.  Occasionally they are found earlier in the woods such as the case with the one I found at Rondeau Park.

Some upcoming counts include the Strathroy (December 23), Wallaceburg (28th), and St. Clair NWA (Jan. 1).  Hopefully weather will be ideal, but doubtful for Wallaceburg since it falls on a weekend!

Robin in the.....Sumac

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