[Ontbirds] Peel-Halton Counties CBC results - Saturday, December 17th

Mark Chojnacki markc at alumni.uwaterloo.ca
Mon Dec 19 23:45:39 EST 2005

Here are the preliminary results for the 43rd annual Peel-Halton 
Counties Christmas Bird Count held on Saturday, December 17th in 
Mississauga, Oakville and southeast Milton.

Total species: 76 - highest since 1995, average is about 72
Total individuals: 28,115 - lowest since 2000

This year was outstanding for unusual species on the count:

PEREGRINE FALCON - new species for count day (count week sighting in 
2002) - two birds seen - one bird at Mississauga Executive Centre (Don 
Perks, John Lamey, Mark Cranford) and a different bird chasing an adult 
Bald Eagle on the southeast Oakville waterfront (Jim Watt, John Bennett)!

TURKEY VULTURE - second ever for the count (prior record was in 2001), a 
single bird flying south toward Lake Ontario in Oakville at Post Park in 
vicinity of Chartwell and McDonald (Jim Coey, Terry Osborne, Audrey Oswald).

SAVANNAH SPARROW - third record (first since 1970), two birds in 
vicinity of 8th Line and Britannia in southeast Milton (Mike Boyd, Jon 
Plezier, Richard Ascher).

PINE WARBLER - fourth record, a male at Shell Park in Bronte (southwest 
Oakville) - relocated on count day by Gavin Edmondstone.

TRUMPETER SWAN - fourth record, two birds in Port Credit area.

LAPLAND LONGSPUR - fifth record, first since 1986, found by Bill 
McIlveen in southeast Milton (east of Third Line).

GRAY CATBIRD - sixth record, first since 1998, in Lorne Park area of 
southwest Mississauga (Mark Cranford, Don Perks, John Lamey).

BALD EAGLE - sixth record - it appears that the same adult bird 
mentioned above was seen by several groups.

NORTHERN GOSHAWK - 8th count day record (also seen in count week last 
year), observed by Don Perks and John Lamey in Port Credit as it tried 
to kill and fly off with a Mallard. Mark Cranford saw it a few minutes 
later without its prize.

RED CROSSBILL - 9th record, first since 1984, 3 male birds on Edgeware 
Road in southeast Oakville observed by Alan Telfer and Carol Wardle.

EASTERN TOWHEE - first record since 1994, observed by Luke Fazio in 
Rattray Marsh area.

Record high counts:

Common Merganser - 388, previous high was 169 in 1999
Red-breasted Merganser - 345, previous high was 259 in 2001
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 12 vs. 11 last year
Cooper's Hawk - 13 vs. 7 in 2002
Northern Cardinal - 272 vs. 221 in 1973
Savannah Sparrow - 2 vs. prior records of 1 in 1969 and 1970

Low counts:

American Black Duck - 124 - lowest since 108 in 1997
Common Goldeneye - 293 - lowest since 251 in 1990
Bufflehead - 372 - lowest since 286 in 1995
Herring Gull - 54 - new record low, prior low was 59 in 2002
Cedar Waxwing - 4 - lowest since 3 in 1998

Other notable numbers (especially with regard to West Nile Virus):

Blue Jay - 84 - still lower than average but increasing, highest number 
since 85 in 2001
American Crow - 120 - also still low but increasing, highest total since 
Black-capped Chickadee - 800 - recovered and then some, 3rd highest 
total ever, highest since 1977

Notable misses:

Great Horned Owl - missed on count day and so far still missing for 
count week, last year was the first ever count day miss but it was found 
during count week
Northern Flicker - seen on 35 of 42 prior counts
Swamp Sparrow - 31 out of 42 counts, plus 1 count week sighting
Snow Bunting - 25 out of 42, plus 1 count week
Common Grackle - 24 out of 42
Brown-headed Cowbird - 24 out of 42

If any of the above misses are noted for the count week period of 
December 14th through December 20th (inclusive), please let me know!

Mark Chojnacki, markc at alumni.uwaterloo.ca, Mississauga, Ontario

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