On Tuesday, December 23, 2014, the 18th Strathroy Christmas Bird Count was conducted. The 18 mile diameter count circle includes Strathroy, Kerwood, Appin, Melbourne, Mt. Brydges and all points in between these towns. Longwoods, Clark Wright and Strathroy Conservation Areas are within the count circle.
There were 16 field participants tackling the circle, that was divided up into 6 portions. There were also two people that watched the feeders at their home and contributed their sightings to the count.
Over-all, the total number of individual birds counted was the lowest ever for this count, with only 7,170 birds tallied. However, the number of species found was 58, which is two more than the average number of species on this count.
Since the first Strathroy Count, in 1996, 101 species have been located within the count circle. This year another new species was added to this cumulative total — a female HOODED MERGANSER was located in amongst the many Canada Geese at the Strathroy Conservation Area.
There were high counts of 3 species seen this year:
- SNOWY OWL (4 located; this is tied with the 4 birds located last year)
- TUFTED TITMOUSE (4 located; this species has been found on each count since 2008)
- RUSTY BLACKBIRD (2 located; the second time this specie has been found on the count)
There were low counts of 5 species seen this year:
- SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (2)
- AMERICAN KESTREL (1)
- HORNED LARKS (6)
- HOUSE FINCH (101)
- HOUSE SPARROW (469)
Of additional interest:
- CACKLING GEESE (2 individuals located amongst the many CANADA GEESE at the Strathroy Conservation Area)
- WOOD DUCK (1 bird; also seen at the Strathroy Conservation Authority)
- NORTHERN PINTAIL (2 birds at the Strathroy Sewage Lagoons)
- BALD EAGLE (5 birds; prior to 2006 not recorded on this count, since 2006 they have been seen on each count)
- MOURNING DOVE (205 birds; 2nd lowest number for this count)
- SHORT-EARED OWL (3)
- EASTERN BLUEBIRD (10)
- WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW (none seen this year, only 2nd time they have been missed)
- DARK-EYED JUNCO – OREGON FORM (1 )
A big THANK YOU goes out to all the participants that made this another successful count.