Friday, December 27, 2013

Post Christmas Birding

This time of year I concentrate birding the St. Clair River and Wallaceburg area in prep for the CBC which is tomorrow.
After a decent day of birding on Christmas Day, I headed out once again Boxing Day.  Every day is different and it seemed fewer things were around.  The river was not as busy, but I went as far as Corunna.  The number of Long-tailed Ducks was astounding!  At the head of Stag Island I very roughly counted 1500--most I have seen in the river.  Then there were all the ones downriver from there.  Seems they are increasing exponentially around here!
Downriver at Fawn Island, things were fairly busy with lots of waterfowl.  Common Goldeneye and Bufflehead were in good numbers.

Off Cathcart Park things were less interesting than the day before.  Ice had moved into shore and more had formed forcing waterfowl to seek other locations.  One duck stood out.  It was with a female Mallard, but almost half the size.  Obviously a Green-winged Teal (female)!  I started walking towards the north end of the park, but it decided to take off.

It was later found in the outfall ditch of OC Industries.  We have found them there before this time of year.  A couple of Great Blue Herons were there as well--a bird rather scarce recently.

Most gulls were off Cathcart.  Lots of Great Black-backed around.

West of Wallaceburg on the Snye, three Ring-necked Ducks were present.  Although a male has been around for a while, the two females seemed to be recent additions.
male to left

Today things were not much different.  It was a bit milder and land birds seemed to be on the move.  At Cathcart Park, an American Robin was present as well as a couple of Golden-crowned Kinglets and a Brown Creeper.
Lots of Canada Geese are on the river, but that is all for geese.  No cacklers or anything else that I can find!
Several Tundra Swans were there as well.  No sign of a Trumpeter....yet.

The Sombra Solar Snowy was atop one of the little buildings this morning.  It was distant and I had to look through a fence.
Other Snowy Owls are in the area, but it is a matter of finding them.  Hopefully they will make an appearance tomorrow on the count.

A Northern Shrike is always nice to find.  One was beside ICI Wetland this morning.  A bit distant, but here it is:

I stopped by my old haunt of Brander Park.  The Carolina Wren is still present!  First time I have had one stay there in the winter.  It is not co-operate for a photo.

After some shopping this afternoon, I arrived home and a couple of Golden-crowned Kinglets were in the yard.  Interesting how they suddenly show up on a winter's day after several weeks of absence!

Stay tuned, Wallaceburg CBC is Saturday and perhaps some interesting sightings will come to light.

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