Saturday 16 December 2017

London CBC 2017

Today was the London Christmas Bird Count (CBC).

My Route!!! (Pathway from Wellington to Highbury)

My dad and I set out to start our route at 7:00 am, hoping to maybe get an owl. It was not to be, however, but we were rewarded with a Marsh Wren early on in the game. Marsh Wrens are scarce in Middlesex, so a good record indeed. [edit: This would be the second record in 108 years on a London CBC, so this is a very rare find. Due to that, and the fact that it was low light when we saw it, I will be removing it from the list unless proven otherwise]

The camera wasn't much help for the first couple hours, as there wasn't much light, so I let my dad carry it :-) He managed to get this very flattering shot of me.

Wintering ducks are always the main attraction along the Thames river, and today was no exception. I was actually surprised that we found more than 3 species! We found a total of 6 species, including some Canada Geese (432), Mallard (369), American Black Duck (6), Common Goldeneye (16), Hooded Merganser (13), and Common Merganser (3).

Hooded Merganser (female)

Hooded Mergansers (male)

Common Goldeneye

Common Merganser (male)

Canada Geese


There were a couple species of raptors as well, represented by some Cooper's Hawks (2), and a Red-tailed Hawk (1). No Bald Eagles today!

Red-tailed Hawk

Cooper's Hawk

Woodpeckers were present, with 3 species seen. Downies were the most abundant (6), followed by Red-bellied (4), and Hairy (3).

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Sparrows were well represented, with 4 species. American Tree Sparrows were not surprisingly the most common (23), Dark-eyed Juncos had the second highest total (17), but it took over two and a half hours to find the first one! Song Sparrows (4) and White-throated Sparrows (3) were found as well.

White-throated Sparrow


American Tree Sparrow

Although we just had two species of finch, they tallied an impressive 87 individuals. American Goldfinches made up the bulk of it (50), but House Finches were around in numbers as well (37). At one point, a pure flock of about 30 flew overhead.

American Goldfinch

Small woodlands birds made their presence known. We had many species throughout the morning such as Black-capped Chickadee (26), Brown Creeper (11), White-breasted Nuthatch (3), Golden-crowned Kinglet (4), Mourning Dove (10), American Robin (6), and Northern Cardinal (26). The London CBC is regarded as the "Cardinal Capital of Canada" because we often report the highest numbers of cardinals. Quite fitting that the Nature London logo is of a cardinal!

Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Black-capped Chickadee

Northern Cardinal

Five hours and 9.6 kilometers later, we had a total of 35 bird species, including a few non-bird species such as the ever present Grey Squirrel, and a Mink!

Grey Squirrel

It was a great count, and we did a lot better than I expected. I will definitely be requesting this route again next year!

Today's eBird checklist.

Tomorrow is the Rondeau CBC, so I will be off to there early tomorrow will be hard to distract myself from the Tufted Duck in Peel though! I'm sure that we will find something great tomorrow...I'll be sure to check every single scaup!

Highlights from the 108th Annual London Christmas Bird Count:

Northern Goshawk

Cackling Goose

Northern Pintail

Snow Goose

Vesper Sparrow

Wilson's Snipe


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