2021 Long Point Christmas Birds Count Summary
The 61st Long Point CBC was held on Saturday December 18. The count covers a
~24-kilometre circle centred on the lighthouse south of St. Williams.
Conditions on count day were absolutely horrible. As one of our participants
described, "it was awful!". The day was cold, windy, wet, and treacherous.
Every conceivable type of precipitation fell consistently - mostly a mix of
rain, ice, and snow, and temperatures swung from -6 to +6 C. Consequently,
our effort (number of participants and hours in the field) was the lowest
Mild conditions leading up to the count kept all waterways open allowing
birds to distribute widely throughout the area. Diving ducks, which normally
make up a large percentage of our numbers, were generally not present or
visible on count day. Redhead and Canvasback numbers were one quarter what
they were in 2020. Landbirds were also widely distributed, hunkered down,
and difficult to find on count day.
Despite the conditions, 43 stalwart birders weathered the storm to count
31,089 birds of somehow, a remarkable 110 species! Despite the conditions
and effort this is above the long-term average of 28,886 individuals of 102
species, and close to the recent 10-year average of 38,998 individuals of
104 species. We can't help but imagine what we might have found with fair
weather. Since 1960, volunteers have contributed more than 8,500 hours and
counted 1.65 million birds of 193 species.
Red-throated Loon - One was observed flying by Normandale.
Cackling Goose - Three were observed flying over Turkey Point.
Canada Goose - Second highest total of 3,986. High was 4,232 in 2006.
Northern Pintail - Second highest total with 186. High was 344 in 1998.
Green-winged Teal - Second highest total of 86. High was 346 in 1998.
Red-shouldered Hawk - Four were observed. High is 6 in 2006.
Ruffed Grouse - Fourteen was the highest total since 2006.
Sandhill Crane - Coincidentally tied last year's high of 5,786.
Little Gull - One was observed on the Inner Bay.
Eastern Bluebird - The lowest count (4) since 1992.
Gray Catbird - Tied the highest count of 6 also observed in 2016 and 2020.
White-throated Sparrow - Highest total ever with 259. 220 were observed in
1980, 1992, and 200 in 2005.
Red-winged Blackbird - Lowest count (94) since 1998 (33).
Common Raven - Was reported for the second time on the count.
Count week species (read big misses):
Greater White-fronted Goose, Trumpeter Swan, American Coot, Killdeer,
Dunlin, Common Loon, Golden Eagle, Northern Mockingbird, Eastern Meadowlark,
Rusty Blackbird, Black-and-White Warbler.
A complete summary of the 2021 Long Point CBC results are available here.
Thank you very much to count participants for braving the elements and
counting all the birds:
Geoff Atkins, Gregor Beck, Wayne Boswell, Michael Bradstreet, John Carson,
Peter Carson, Mark Conboy, Joseph Gabriel, Mary Gartshore, Paula Gent, Ted
Gent, Eric Giles, Kevin Kavanagh, Mike Hallet, Lydia Harrison, Audrey Heagy,
Barry Jones, Bill Lamond, Sarah Lamond, John Lounds, Chris Leys, Ryan Leys,
Annie Li, Tim Lucas, Lucas Lui, Stu Mackenzie, David Okines, Scott Peck,
Zach Peck, Josh Pickering, Lynn Post, Ron Ridout, Lydia Harrison, Diane
Salter, Wanda Schram, Evan Sinclair, John Sinclair, Shelia Smith, Bob Stamp,
Adam Timpf, Matt Timpf, Stacey Vannatter, Graham Wood, Ross Wood.
The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is North America's oldest standardized census
providing valuable information on the early winter distribution and
abundance of birds throughout the western hemisphere. It is also a vital
outreach and birder/naturalist recruitment tool, and has become a proud
holiday tradition for many. The CBC in Canada is coordinated by Birds Canada
in partnership with the National Audubon Society.