Saturday, January 2, 2010


Dark-eyed Junco. Photo by Marianne Balkwill

So I woke up this morning and saw that, with the wind chill, it is -1 Fahrenheit.....Not exactly the encouraging temperature I want to see on my first day of birding for the year 2010.

I left all bundled up in my car and decided, on my first attempt for my Big Year, to just drive the roads. Not only was it freezing cold out but it was windy as well. Whenever I got out to scan over the lake, my face would instantly freeze. So today, I decided to take it easy.

My first species of bird in the Pelee Circle was not a bad bird to start the year off with, a Northern Mockingbird at Lakeside Bakery in Leamington. Last week, Jeremy and I met up for breakfast and saw the Mockingbird feeding in the bushes. I took a chance, and drove into the parking lot, and there it was!

Other than that, not much excitement, especially when you are just driving around, it limits what you see. It was pretty obvious that aside from bird feeders, everything was hunkered down out of the cold, and so was I in my car.

In just over an hours' drive, I saw only a total of 19 species! I didn't see one species of duck on the east side of Lake Erie from Hillman Marsh to Wheatley Harbour, except for a few Mallards.

I also drove around the onion fields, as a Short-eared Owl was spotted during the Pelee CBC back in late December. I barely saw a bird out there, until I drove along Concession E where American Tree Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos seeked shelter from the bitter cold.

Species of Birds:
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Northern Harrier (male)
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Cardinal
Blue Jay
Brown-headed Cowbird
American Goldfinch
American Tree Sparrow
Boniparte's Gull
Red-tailed Hawk
Herring Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Amerian Crow
Dark-eyed Junco
Horned Lark
House Sparrow
Rock Dove


  1. Mockingbird is a good start!
    Yesterday was so gloomy, and today so bright and sunny. Too cold and windy for much walking, and I don't blame the birds for hunkering down.

  2. Nice start with the Northern Mockingbird! It must have found the perfect spot there by Lakeside Bakery. I should tell my brother to keep an eye out for it.

  3. Okay, how about your first week? (!)

  4. Excited for your next post! Me wants to know how your January goes for your list!