Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Wallaceburg CBC December 27, 2017

Sunrise at Stewart Wetland

On this very frigid day, the Wallaceburg CBC was held.  It was probably the coldest day ever for our count (started out at -20C or so) and with lots of snow on the ground.
Much open water had frozen in the last day or so, displacing waterbirds.
I started my route at Stewart Wetland along the Chenal Ecarte (Snye).  Before arriving I drove along the Snye west of Wallaceburg.  Virtually the first birds I recorded was a tight raft of 15 Gadwall (a pretty good number for this count). Others were seen.  Previous high was 18.
There was not much to see at Stewart due to the ice in the river.
Later, I went back along the Snye, and at a dead-end road, I found a pair of Wood Ducks!

Another Wood Duck was seen on Walpole, bringing the day's total to 3, which is a new count high.

There were also 4 Pied-billed Grebes here.

Thirty-two others of these brown little grebes were found along Walpole, bringing the day's count to 36, which smashes the previous high of  22 in 1998.  I knew it was going to be a big count this year!

Woodlot Scene along Payne Road

Also record high was Wild Turkey at 155!

There seemed to be quite a few Sharp-shinned Hawks around.  A couple of my feeder spots were haunted by these creatures, including my own here at home!

Gulls appeared on the river this week. Some decent ones on the count included Glaucous, Iceland, and Lesser Black-backed (2).

Dark-eyed Juncos were quite plentiful during the day, and Song Sparrows were fairly numerous.  I had 7 Song Sparrows at Stewart Wetland just at dusk where I ended my day.

Chenal Ecarte

Geese were moving in large numbers at dusk.  I had a few flocks seen at and near Stewart Wetland, but nothing with them.

A surprise near dusk was the sighting of 2 (probably THE 2 recent) Greater White-fronted Geese north of Sombra by none other than Quinten Wiegersma.  Quinten was not officially on the count, but this sighting represents a new species for the Wallaceburg CBC!

Another new species was a Golden Eagle sighted on Walpole Island.  A number of years ago I had a count week sighting, but finally this one was added to the list.

Green-winged Teal was recorded, which is a very good bird.  It had only been recorded on the count four times before.

Scene at the Bishop Property

One Snowy Owl was in a field south of Wallaceburg.

A weird miss was Winter Wren.  I guess the winter weather sent them packing! So why are they called Winter Wrens?
Also missed was Great Blue Heron.  Usually one is around the Snye or Walpole.

Total species count is at 86 which ties third highest (2007).  Highest was in 2005 with 89 species and the following year was 87.

A good count, all things considered!

Sunset at Stewart Wetland


  1. I had a possible Cackling Goose too! Too bad I didn't get a good enough look, then maybe you could've tied with the 2006 count!

    1. One would think a Cackling would be seen with all those geese moving at dusk. However, Cackling are very rare in this district!