[Ontbirds] 46th Wiarton CBC - Dec. 15

Jarmo Jalava jvjalava at gmail.com
Sun Dec 22 17:45:29 EST 2019

The 46th Wiarton Christmas Bird Count was held on Sunday, December 15.
Temperatures hovered around -5C all day, with brisk northwesterly winds and
generally sunny skies interspersed with scattered snow flurries.  The
waters of Georgian Bay were open, as were faster-flowing creeks and rivers,
but most inland waterbodies were frozen, as were the more sheltered bays of
Lake Huron.

Eighteen participants and two feeder watchers tallied 51 species (+3
additional count week species), above the 45-year average of 48.7 species,
and slightly below the 10-year average of 52.8.  The 2,833 individual birds
counted was well below the 45-year (3,436) and 10-year (4,417) averages.

One new species for the count was found, Eastern Phoebe.  The only other
unusual species was White-crowned Sparrow (3rd count).  A count week Belted
Kingfisher was the first since 2012.

White-winged Scoter was the only species observed in record high numbers
(18, previous high 8).  American Robin (12) and Cedar Waxwing (32) numbers
were relatively high, no doubt a reflection of abundant wild berry crops.
Introduced House Finches (23) and House Sparrows (53) seemed to have a
bounce-back year after several years of decline.

This was the first count without a Snow Bunting since 1972, when the
species was only recorded during count week (this year, flocks were noted
within the circle the day after count week ended, but not during count
week).  The 13 White-breasted Nuthatches was the lowest tally for this
species since the 1970s.  Aside from 4 Pine Siskins, irruptive winter
finches were absent.

Thanks to all the volunteers for your efforts!

Jarmo Jalava

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