Ottawa-Gatineau Fall Bird Count (preliminary results)

Christina Lewis weewa at primus.ca
Mon Oct 21 21:21:56 EDT 2002


Greetings Ontbirders,

The Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club 8th annual Fall Bird Count was held Oct.
19 -20 -- as usual this was a "fun" event, not designed to be competitive or
to contribute to scientific data, but just to get local birders "out there"
and get a sense of "WHAT'S out there" at this time of year in the
Ottawa-Gatineau area.  The count area comprises the entire 50K radius from
the Peace Tower, and is divided into 4 sectors - 2 in Quebec, and 2 in
Ontario, with the Ottawa and Rideau Rivers being the division lines.

And it certainly was an interesting count!  The weather a contributing
factor - generally mild and very pleasant during the previous week with SE &
SW winds...then a dramatic cold front moved through on the afternoon of the
19th with strong NW winds bringing wicked thunderstorms and hail pellets the
size & texture of large hard corn kernels (yours truly were among several
caught out in the open during this grand storm, and can attest to the impact
of those pellets as well as the possibility of our spotting scope becoming a
fine lightning rod!)...followed by a gorgeous morning on the 20th with mixed
sun & cloud and a stiff NW breeze in the afternoon.

HIGHLIGHTS:
The following info was reported at the post-count compilation on Sunday and
does not account for overlap among the sectors as well as other unknown
factors.  The "FINAL ANSWERS" should be on the OFNC website in the near
future!

1) RECORD HIGH TOTAL of 140 spp. (previous record was 133 in 2001)

2) HIGHLIGHTS for the Ottawa-Gatineau area: RED-THROATED LOON (1), GREATER
WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE (1), EURASIAN WIGEON (1), RUDDY DUCK (35), GOLDEN EAGLE
(1), SANDHILL CRANE (32), BONAPARTE's GULL (107), BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER
(1), LAPLAND LONGSPUR (95).

3) NEW SPP. for this Count: EURASIAN WIGEON (1), GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
(1), SOLITARY SANDPIPER (1), BAIRD'S SANDPIPER (1), STILT SANDPIPER (1),
SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER (12), VEERY (1), GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH (1), GRAY
CATBIRD (1), CLAY-COLOURED SPARROW (3), VESPER SPARROW (3)

4) RECORD HIGH COUNTS (followed by/ previous record):
Pied-billed Grebe: 27 / 11
Double-crested Cormorant: 133 / 117
Great Blue Heron: 106 / 75
Black-crowned Night-Heron: 5 / 3
Canada Goose: 46,583 / 35,838
Nothern Pintail: 50 / 44
Blue-winged Teal: 48 / 44
Turkey Vulture: 21 / 10
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 10 / 5
Cooper's Hawk: 8 / 4
Merlin: 5 (tied with previous high - Go Merlins!)
Sandhill Crane: 32 / 22
Semipalmated Plover: 4 / 2
Lesser Yellowlegs: 21 / 7
Semipalmated Sandpiper: 3  (tied with previous high)
Dunlin: 108 / 16
White-rumped Sandpiper: 17 / 10
Bonaparte's Gull: 107 / 44
Ring-billed Gull: 12,434 / 10, 371 (thanks to McDonalds, Wendy's et al)
Lesser Black-backed Gull: 8 / 5
Great Black-backed Gull: 2,512 / 1,344
Mourning Dove: 980 / 455
Belted Kingfisher: 17 / 9
Northern Flicker: 10 / 6
Blue Jay: 592 / 591 (ya, but it's still a high count!)
American Crow: 7011 / 3392 (what was all that about West Nile?)
Eastern Bluebird: 45 / 22
American Robin: 2245 / 2023
American Pipit: 894 / 846
European Starling: 10,443 / 6,326 ( grrrrrr!)
Yellow-rumped Warbler: 184 / 138
Lapland Longspur: 95 / 33
Red-winged Blackbird: 16,313 / 11,721
Eastern Meadowlark: 65 / 26
Rusty Blackbird: 450 / 163

5) RECORD LOW:
House Finch: 70 (general decline noted on OFNC Fall Bird Counts since 1995)

Sincere thanks to all who participated and organized this event - it was a
true "team effort"!
Chris Lewis & Bob Bracken
Ottawa
weewa @ primus.ca















"Christina Lewis" <weewa at primus.ca>



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