Saturday, December 28, 2013

Counting Birds around Wallaceburg

Moon was still bright at Bear Creek

It was certainly a very nice day with regards to weather for the local Christmas Bird Count.  The 28th Wallaceburg CBC ended up with a respectable 82  species, with one new bird for the count history.  One group came across a Lincoln's Sparrow!  A very nice bird for winter.

I worked my usual area in the south part of the circle.  Volunteers were scarce this year so I managed to cover the large area on my own.  I started at Bear Creek Marsh at first light.

  In past years this spot has proven to be an excellent starting point along the Chenal Ecarte (Snye River). Not only do you have a marsh there, but a creek (Bear Creek no less!) comes out there and there is a sharp bend in the Snye in which you can look upriver or downriver.  St Anne's Island is across the Snye and usually one can see flocks of ducks flying over.
Today was no exception and perhaps around 2500 (98% Mallard) were seen.  They were a bit distant but some Black Ducks were mixed in.  I think one year I had over 4000 Mallard.
In any case, lots of different birds fly over here as well.  While I was standing there, a couple of American Robins flew in.  I had one more elsewhere later on, but turns out we had a record count for them somewhere around 44.
I have had snipe here a couple of times, but this year was certainly not a shorebird year needless to say.

Feeders were not very busy today due to the nice weather.  As a whole, feeders have not been too active yet this winter.  One property I walked had a couple of Red-breasted Nuthatches--a decent bird for the Wallaceburg Count.
Red Nut!

Other notables included a record number of Long-tailed Ducks (by a longshot!).  I do not have the final numbers, but as I alluded to in previous posts, this species has increased in numbers of late.
Red-breasted Mergansers were also found in a record number.  They are usually quite uncommon on the river.
The Green-winged Teal I found Boxing Day was relocated, as was the Double-crested Cormorant from Christmas Day.
The Horned Grebe, White-winged Scoter and Glaucous Gull that I saw Christmas Day went down as count week only.

Two Snowy Owls were tallied.  The Sombra solar farm individual and the one closer to Wallaceburg that has been working the Langstaff to Whitebread Lines area.  That one was actually in my area and despite several attempts I did not see it today. However, as luck goes, another party spotted it on the way to the dinner at dusk!

Looks like Great Blue Herons (10) made a record number for this count.
We usually lead in Tufted Titmouse.  Looks like 34 were found this time around.
Golden-crowned Kinglets seem to be in decent numbers this winter.  They were found in quite a few locations tinkling away.
Some Rusty Blackbirds were found on Walpole as usual and Brewer's goes down as a count week.

A Red-bellied unable to face the camera!

Next area count is St. Clair NWA on New Year's Day!

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