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Daily Archives: January 1, 2012

January 1, 2011 – St. Clair National Wildlife Area Christmas Bird Count


Back in the mid-1980’s (not sure of the exact year, although I probably have it written down somewhere in my files), I did my first Christmas Bird Count of the St. Clair National Wildlife Area.  It is almost always on January 1st.  In all those years, I have probably only missed 5 or 6 times (possibly 4 or 5 times).  The weather over the years has been variable.  Some years, there is lots of snow.  Sometimes, none.  This year there was none.  In fact, it rained most of the day.  The wind coming off Lake St. Clair was strong this morning and intensified to what I would call “gale force” by the end of the day.

In my part of the bird count circle, there were four of us.  One fellow lives in Grand Bend, another in Sarnia, another in London and I live in Strathroy.  We are good friends and have birded together frequently over the years.

Today, our group tallied 46 species.  This is the highest species total ever for me on this particular count.  The reason is that we tallied quite a number of waterfowl species.  Alot more than in typical years.

This is a list of the species we saw and the number seen of each species is indicated in brackets:

  • Canada Goose (1,360)
  • Mute Swan (17)
  • Tundra Swan (792)
  • Wood Duck (1)
  • American Wigeon (12)
  • American Black Duck (36)
  • Mallard (802)
  • Northern Shoveler (1)
  • Northern Pintail (5)
  • Canvasback (4,001)
  • Redhead (9)
  • Lesser Scaup (3)
  • Hooded Merganser (3)
  • Common Merganser (3)
  • Ruddy Duck (120)
  • Bald Eagle ( 4 adults – these were 2 pair, with one of the pair having a relatively new nest)
  • Northern Harrier (2)
  • Red-tailed Hawk (12)
  • American Kestrel (2)
  • Ring-necked Pheasant (1)
  • Bonaparte’s Gull (9)
  • Ring-billed Gull (22)
  • Herring Gull (22)
  • Great Black-backed Gull (6)
  • Rock Pigeon (26)
  • Mourning Dove (80)
  • Great Horned Owl (1 – saw it fly out of a woodlot and into a row of cedars)
  • Snowy Owl (2 – evidently there was a 3rd Snowy in our area that we missed as it was seen by another birder)
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker (2)
  • Downy Woodpecker (3)
  • Northern Shrike(1)
  • Blue Jay (15)
  • American Crow (8)
  • Horned Lark (7)
  • American Robin (1)
  • European Starling (350)
  • American Tree Sparrow (120)
  • Field Sparrow (1)
  • Song Sparrow (2)
  • Swamp Sparrow (1)
  • Dark-eyed Junco (109)
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Red-winged Blackbird (2)
  • House Finch (20)
  • American Goldfinch (189)
  • House Sparrow (69)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by on January 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

January 1, 2012 – getting ready to start a new “year” list


It almost 5:30 AM.  I will be meeting my friend, Pete, in the parking lot of the Foodland grocery store in Watford at 6 AM.  Then we are off to the Mitchell’s Bay area for the St. Clair National Wildlife Area Christmas Bird Count.  Wish me luck.

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2012 in Uncategorized