Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Thamesville Area Birding: The Last CBC of 2016-17

Yesterday January 2, I was in the Thamesville to Florence area to check out my section of the Skunk's Misery CBC.  This is a relatively new CBC in an excellent area that started a couple of years ago.  My area was basically bounded by the Thames River, Zone Road 5, Lambton Line and Florence Road.
Starting at the old bridge south of Thamesville, I was joined by Janet Fraser and Patrick Cleeve.

I find this an interesting place to start as the old cemetery, cantilever truss bridge, and historical happenings dating back to the War of 1812 are here.
There has been a river crossing here dating back to the early 1800's with a ferry, then a wooden covered bridge, an iron bridge (1874), then the current bridge built in 1936.

This is also the spot we look for the rare Smokey Rubyspots in late August and into September.

We found a number of birds here along the river bank attracted to the old Sycamore, Common Hackberry and Black Walnut trees that commonly grow along the Thames.

Included was a Belted Kingfisher, American Robin and 'dickie' birds such as Black-capped Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper and Golden-crowned Kinglets.

We then moved on to another historic spot east of the village where one can visit the Tecumseh memorial and learn from interpretive signs about the War Of 1812.

Just before arriving there, we spotted some raptors including a rather dark Red-tailed Hawk.  As far as I thought initially, it was an adult light morph of the calurus subspecies.  On occasion, this type is sometimes found during winter in southern Ontario.  However, there is so much variation in Red-tailed Hawks and different subspecies, it gets to be a nightmare!  UPDATE:  After much research, I decided this was the abieticola type which we often see in winter.

Photo courtesy of Patrick Cleeve

Once again, a good variety of birds was found at the Tecumseh memorial site which is along the river bank.  We found that most "landbirds" were along the river as farther afield there were not many.  It seemed to be the trend this year, as the last couple of years landbirds were numerous along the sideroads.

Thames River

We checked out all the sideroads, heading back to Florence Road, noting especially many Red-tailed Hawks.  We did have one Rough-legged, then at Florence just as we got back into the car, a buteo was soaring overhead.  I got back out and discovered that it was an adult Red-shouldered Hawk!

Sydenham River at Florence
The above photo shows an area where ode fans look for uncommon dragonflies in early summer.

Our last stop in early afternoon was on the west side of Thamesville at a nice property owned by a friend of Janet's.  They have feeders and are along the riverbank as well.  There were quite a few birds here including our only Red-breasted Nuthatch of the day.

With all roads covered, I decided to call it a day and tally up our findings.  We ended up with 30 species.

1 comment:

  1. I had fun and learned a lot about identification.