Saturday 15 December 2018

London Christmas Bird Count 2018

Today was the London Christmas Bird Count. I did the same route as last year. It is a long walk, but usually a good route! All the snow melted this past week, so it made for easy walking. It even warmed up to 5 degrees Celsius!

Easy walking...

I started about an hour earlier than last year in hopes of an owl, unfortunately that was just not to be, despite trying in three different locations. No doubt they are there, just weren't wanting to call!

We started the roughly 10 kilometer walk around 7am. Almost right away we had some early birds calling, like White-throated Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, Song Sparrows, and Northern Cardinals.

We picked up two wren species, Winter Wren and Carolina Wren, right after one another. First the Carolina started singing, then it was quickly followed by the singing Winter Wren.

Numbers were down from last year on waterfowl. Only 190 Canada Geese, 39 Mallards, and 2 Common Mergansers! (We had 400+ Canada Geese and 350+ Mallards last year) I believe numbers of some of the songbirds were up however. Highlights include 48 American Goldfinches, 18 Pine Siskins, 24 Northern Cardinals, 13 Brown Creepers, 5 Song Sparrows, 5 White-throated Sparrows, 4 Swamp Sparrows, and 4 Carolina Wrens, to name a few! We also had a couple unexpected birds, such as a Yellow-rumped Warbler, Red-winged Blackbird, and Peregrine Falcon.

In the raptor department, we had 2 Red-tailed Hawks, a Cooper's Hawk, and a Bald Eagle. Somehow, we missed an eagle last year on the route!

Four species of woodpeckers include 8 Downy Woodpeckers, 3 Hairy Woodpeckers, 3 Red-bellied Woodpeckers, and a Northern Flicker.

We completed the route in a few hours, and managed to find 36 species, two more than last year.

After the route, we went down to check the landfill just south of the city. Although we were not assigned that area, there were a few cool things there as of late that I wanted to see, in particular gulls.

There were gulls.

The majority were Herring Gulls.

 There were some Ring-billed and Great Black-backed Gulls mixed in as well.

We also managed to pick out two other species, a couple Lesser Black-backed Gull and a couple of Iceland Gulls.

World's worst photo of an Iceland Gull...

A flock of 30 Tundra Swans also flew over.

Overall, I'd say that I had a good day, and managed to see a few cool things! I even managed to reach my goal of 200 species for Middlesex county this year (#199 Great Black-backed Gull, #200 Iceland Gull) I'll see what I can come across at the Rondeau/Blenheim Christmas Bird Count tomorrow!

In addition, after the CBC compilation, I went out ad found two Eastern Screech-owls!

Highlights of the 2018 London Christmas Bird Count (of the results that are currently in):

Tundra Swan (30)

Eastern Phoebe (1)

Common Redpoll (10)

Yellow-rumped Warbler (1)

Red-winged Blackbird (2)

Peregrine Falcon (1)

Swamp Sparrow (many!)

Great Black-backed Gull (25)

Lesser Black-backed Gull (2)

Iceland Gull (2)

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