December 1st will be the first day of winter listing for the season,
running until February 29th. There have been about 356 species of birds
recorded in Ontario during the winter period.
Last winter 218 species were recorded which is above average. The average
is 207 species looking at data for the last 16 years. Some of the
highlights from last year included White-rumped Sandpiper, Pectoral
Sandpiper, Western Sandpiper, Dovekie, Razorbill, LeConte's Sparrow, and
Yellow-breasted Chat. For more information on the Ontario Winter List there
is an article in the OFO News found here:
If you are looking for a way to spice up your birding hobby this winter
consider a winter list. This list could motivate you to get out more in the
winter and enjoy nature.
Just post your sightings to Ontbirds (if sufficiently rare), ebird.org,
Ontario Bird Alert Discord group (https://discord.gg/EhvgAc2fwb) or send me
an email, and I will update the list accordingly and provide an update to
Ontbirds and the discords every couple of weeks. When using the Ontario
Bird Alert Discord group, use the Ontario-wide Rare Bird Alert (RBA)
channel for all birds rare to Ontario and the Winter-listers RBA for birds
that are common to Ontario but rare in the winter. The Ontario Bird Alert
Discord group also has a Winter lister chat group for general chats about
winter listing not related to a specific bird sighting.
The OFO also has a discord chat center (
https://discord.com/invite/npbCzXVhZ2) to discuss winter birding. The OFO
winter listing chat is another great spot to chat about your winter birding
adventures and thoughts. The OFO is running several field trips and
webinars over the winter months. The first being the Niagara River Gull
watch. I am hoping some rare gulls are found with so many birders in the
area at the start of winter (Dec 2-3 2023).
Other OFO events include:
Make sure you register and note the dates on your calendars. You can
register on the OFO website here: http://www.ofo.ca/site/Tripsupcoming
After the first week of December you can check the winter bird list and
inform me of any species that have been seen but are not present on the
list. This gives me time to start the list. The list can be viewed at
http://tinyurl.com/myyulvs. I try to update the spreadsheet every week at
the beginning of the season and increase the length between updates as the
season progresses as there is less to add.
Hopefully we have some late fall rarities stay into December.