Sunday 20 December 2020

Christmas Bird Counts

As per usual for this time of year, I did a couple Christmas Bird Counts. I do two counts, the London one, which I have been doing for four years, and the Rondeau/Blenheim count, which I have been doing for five. Obviously this year is quite different than previous ones! 

Yesterday was the London count. I did my usual route along the Thames River in the south part of the city. I was unable to turn up anything good however! Just the usual suspects. I ended up with 36 species on my walk, which ties 2018 for the most species I have seen on this route. It is up from 32 species from last year! The weather was sort of mild, which meant not many ducks on the river, but at least it was cold enough to somewhat concentrate the smaller birds.

eBird checklist here.

I ended up with two new species for my overall route list, Merlin and Common Redpoll. Interestingly, Carolina Wrens were fairly numerous. I couldn't find a single one last year! I think it has been a good year for the species.

Carolina Wren (from this spring)

Afterwards, I went to the landfill as it was not too far away. I only found one concentration of gulls, and only four species among them (Herring, Ring-billed, Glaucous, and Great Black-backed). Thankfully, Reuven Martin, who had been doing that area for the count, managed to also turn up Lesser Black-backed and Iceland in a different field, so at least we got those for the cumulative total! 

I did a quick check of a couple spots around the neighborhood later, but couldn't turn up anything of note.

Today was the Rondeau/Blenheim CBC, so I was down there by shortly after 7am. I started at the VC beach, where I was shortly thereafter joined by Reuven. We did a short lakewatch, highlighted by White-winged Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, and a couple Red-throated Loons. I have had at least one Red-throated Loon every time I have done this count, so I am glad my streak was not broken! 

We then began the long 16 kilometer walk up Lakeshore Drive, with plans of returned back down Harrison trail. It wasn't super birdy, but we managed to turn up an Eastern Towhee, a couple Hermit Thrushes, and a Yellow-rumped Warbler. Nothing really out of the ordinary. Lots of woodpecker action, as we had twelve Downies, eight Hairies, eight Red-bellieds, and three Pileateds. 

Downy Woodpecker from a past CBC

eBird checklist here.

With no compilation to go to, there wasn't much reason to stick around, so after scoping the bay, which held many distant ducks, we headed out. Reuven went back to London, but I wanted to quickly pop over to Erieau. It ended up being pretty quiet over there, and the only thing of note was about 165 American Coots.

That's a wrap for another year!

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