Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Winter Listing

The winter birding season came to an end on February 28 and migrants will soon be arriving.
Already, reports of Red-winged Blackbirds and Killdeer have appeared on the Ontario listserve. It is still early days though and with Jean at work on Sunday I thought I would compile our winter list while watching some FA Cup matches (many thanks to the cable gods for the free Setanta).

Since we started birding the number of lists that I keep has increased with the passing of every year. In 2008, two checklists were added. During a family vacation in Algonquin Provincial Park, I picked up a checklist for the park at the west gate welcome centre.

Birding the Old Airfield, Algonquin Provincial Park

Additions to the list will be limited with Algonquin a 5 hour drive from the Niagara Region. We are hoping to add Spruce Grouse, Boreal Chickadee, and Gray Jay to the list on an upcoming trip to the provincial park.

The second list was handed out at the Ontario Field Ornithologists Convention last October and is for the Hamilton Study Area. With its great birding areas less than an hour away, additions to the study checklist should occur more often.

Birding Woodland Cemetery, OFO Convention

Back to winter listing (December 1 to February 28), I'm not sure if it exists south of the Canadian border, a web search only found provincial winter lists. "Are there any U.S. compilers keeping winter lists, perhaps in the northern States?".

During the 2008/2009 winter birding season 197 species were observed in the province of Ontario. Jean and I observed a total of 73 species. Reviewing our observations (2006/2007, 2007/2008 and 2008/2009) through eBird Canada, the number of species observed has increased every season. Hopefully with a bit of luck and some effort on our part, a greater number of species will be observed during the 2009/2010 winter birding season.

If I come up with any new lists between then and now I'll let you know.

Two additions to the year list occurred Sunday. Returning home in the afternoon, 2 Turkey Vultures (#58) were observed soaring over the neighbourhood. Later that evening, 5 Wild Turkeys (#59) were seen roosting in a tree for the night while we were travelling to my brother-in-law's for a visit.

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