Christmas Bird Counts

The Christmas Bird Count period runs from December 14 to January 5th.  Saturday was the 14th, so a number of counts were scheduled for that day.  Locally, both the London and Kettle Point Counts were held on Saturday.  So what happens when the weather doesn’t cooperate?  Nothing changes.  The counts go on as scheduled.

I have been participating in the London Christmas Bird Count for about 15 years.  My “assigned”/adopted area is the Komoka Provincial Park.  I meet with Mike Nelson, a friend and birder from London and we walk the park from end to the other.  We start at 8 AM and finish mid-afternoon.  This year, the weather from simply awful.  Snow is no big deal, but the strong winds made for downright awful conditions.  My face felt like it had frostbite and for some reason, both of my hands started hurting and today they are both swollen.  No idea what brought this on.  Nevertheless, Mike and I enjoyed the count, despite the conditions.  We did not see a lot of birds, though.  We saw 24 different species.  For us, the highlights were 4 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS that flew by and landed in a tree just ahead of us.  We were the only team on the London Count this year that saw Bluebirds.

The Thames River runs thru the Komoka Provincial Park.  Most years, we see lots of waterfowl on the river.  But this year there was not much to be seen.  However, two ducks that we did see was a pair of GADWALL.  The other bird that we saw that was not expected was an AMERICAN ROBIN.  We saw just one, perched high atop a Spruce Tree.  It was singing and that is what caught our attention at first.  Even though we saw a Robin, we weren’t alone.  There were over 200 Robins sighted on the London Count this year.

I have a bit of a break before my next bird count.  The Strathroy Christmas Bird Count is scheduled for Monday, December 23rd.  Then, it is the Wallaceburg Count on the 28th, followed by the St. Clair National Wildlife Area Count on January 1st.

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