Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Point Pelee CBC. Highlights from our area on December 19th

Yesterday was the Point Pelee Christmas Bird Count and probably the coldest I have ever participated in with temperatures around -10C.  Luckily in the morning the winds were calm.  Our group consisted of Ian Woodfield, Matt Timpf, Jeremy Hatt and myself. 

Matt Timpf scanning for waterfowl.  Photo by Jeremy Hatt

Our area included the onion fields east of County Road 19 up to the Essex County side of Wheatley Harbour.  I had to go to work for a few hours in the afternoon, but managed to make it back for the roundup at the visitor centre in Point Pelee National Park. Our total was 59 species, with possibly our Green-winged Teal and Canvasbacks for count week being the only ones for the CBC, though the results haven't been completely tallied yet.

Some of the best birds in our area include the following:

Long-tailed Duck: 2 off Marentette Beach

Killdeer: 1 on the beach just north of Coterie Park (Unfortunately it's tail was frozen)

Dunlin: 2 NE Hillman Beach (most likely the same 2 individuals Jeremy and I had on Friday. See previous post)

Glaucous Gull: An immature/1st winter bird at Wheatley Harbour

Double-crested Cormorant: 1 Wheatley Harbour

Eastern Meadowlark: 2 at Hillman Marsh

American Pipit: 15 birds total at various locations

Brewer's Blackbird: 1 at Hillman Marsh

Glaucous Gull at Wheatley Harbour.  Photo by Jeremy Hatt
Eastern Meadowlark at Hillman Marsh.  Photo by Jeremy Hatt

We had a few misses, though they were found in other areas.  Probably our most embarrassing misses were Lapland Longspur, American Robin, and White-throated Sparrow.

Definitely with all the CBCs going on there are some noticeable trends.  One of those is the amount of Fox Sparrows and American Pipits still lingering in the area. This fall into winter has also been a pretty dismal year for Pine Siskins.  In fact we were commenting during the count how we saw more Pine Siskins in May then this fall/winter, though this is a species that is not always guaranteed every winter. Another interesting note these past few weeks is the mass movement of Northern Harriers beginning around December 12, which was just after our first big snow fall. Last Friday, during our scouting for the count, Jeremy and I had quite a few birds flying east to west at the Leamington Marina, clearly on the move.

Merry Christmas everyone!


  1. Merry Christmas!
    We noted several Harriers moving on Sunday as well. And, Pipits-a-plenty!

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