[Ontbirds] Wallaceburg CBC

Steve Charbonneau steve.charbonneau60 at gmail.com
Mon Dec 28 11:25:04 EST 2015

Hello Everyone,
The 30th Wallaceburg CBC took place on Sunday, December 27th.  We totalled
75 species on the count day, which is well below the 81.5 average over the
last 10 years.  There were only 9227 individual birds seen, almost exactly
half of the average for the past 10 years.  We had light rain with the
north wind in the morning and then just a stiff north wind, cooler
temperatures and gloominess for most of the afternoon.  The ground and the
roads were muddy to say the least and all water was wide open (and devoid
of birds).  The wind and rain as well as today's approaching storm probably
had a lot to do with the lack of birds this year but the excitement of not
one but TWO new count birds was enough to keep all of us happy with the

Obviously, the bird of the count was the famous VERMILION FLYCATCHER that
was found by Larry Cornelis at his mother's house 10 days previous.  It was
kind enough to stay for our count and thrill many an observer from our
groups as well as those who came from afar.  This bird represents the first
for a CBC anywhere in Canada and will join the black-necked stilt (also
found by Larry) of 2001 as exceptional finds for our CBC.  The flycatcher
certainly faces an uncertain future.
Also new to our CBC was a long-staying female HARLEQUIN DUCK that was a bit
mixed up, as she hung around with the mallards being fed near the Sombra
ferry.  These 2 new species bring our cumulative total for the 30 years to

We did manage to find high counts for six species this year:
CACKLING GOOSE 9 (previous high of 2 in 2012)
WHITE-WINGED SCOTER 2 (1 on five occasions)
HOODED MERGANSER 30 (17 was previous high)
BALD EAGLE 8 (previous high of 6)
SANDHILL CRANE 72 (smashes last year's high of 18 and only the 4th time

So far, we have tallied 8 species that were seen during Count Week only:
species, by the way, is also new to the count list.....although it joins
the other 5 species that have only been recorded during count week and not
Perhaps there will be more waterfowl or other species seen in the coming 3

There were some notable misses this year, namely:
RED-BREASTED MERGANSER (first time missed since 1987!)
SHORT-EARED OWL (first time missed since 1996)
CAROLINA WREN (5th miss in 20 years)
COMMON GRACKLE (first time ever missed on count day and there was a flock
of 800+ seen the day before!)

Thanks to Wendy Cornelis for once again providing a fantastic hot meal
after our long count day. Thanks to Georgette Cornelis for providing her
house for the compilation and also for being so welcoming to the hundreds
of observers who have visited her house over the past 10 days.

*Steve Charbonneau, CompilerWallaceburg CBC*

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