The temperatures had still not been cold enough to hand-pick grapes for the ice wine harvest. Later in the week though, the thermometer dropped below -8 and production at many wineries in the Niagara Region was set in motion.
We walked along the edge of the creek surveying the brush and trees. The meandering creek was flowing and yielded a Great Blue Heron. Another interesting find was a male Red-winged Blackbird.
Niagara Shores Conservation Area did not produce much at all. We were unable to find a Golden-crowned Kinglet in a stand of conifers by the entrance.
Our group then explored the area surrounding Four Mile Pond but there was no repeat of last year's Swamp Sparrow. A quickly glimpsed Winter Wren was all we could find in the mass of bullrushes.
After a lunch break, we were reduce to 4 birders and we checked out a new location for Jean and I. We walked a trail near Butler's Burial Ground but did not tick any birds until reaching the end of the trail. Standing on a mound of clay (more like clumps of clay) we ticked the last two species for the count, a Northern Mockingbird and a Song Sparrow.
In all, we observed 36 species, 5 more than last year. A well enjoyed day of birding.
The Port Colborne CBC was yesterday but we were unable to assist with the count. If any of you watched the Bills/Colts game then you know the conditions that birders endured while counting birds in the Port Colborne area.
Next week is the Duck Count. We helped John Black last year, counting waterfowl on Lake Ontario from Fifty Point CA in Grimsby to Vineland. This year, we'll be covering the shoreline from Vineland to Port Weller. It's sure to be a cold one.
I received preliminary results for the St. Catharines CBC.
A total of 81 species (above average) were counted on December 20.
Unusual species found included, Snow Goose, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Black Scoter, Merlin, Little Gull, Glaucous Gull and Hermit Thrush.
Our participation in birding activities has increased over the last couple of years and I look forward to future CBC's and other counts. Hopefully we will find time for the Port Colborne count next year. If you're a birder, I recommend attending a CBC in your community. You'll enjoy it!
By the way. I know some birders will, but did you notice anything odd in the image, provided by Dave, at the top of the post? He can be sneaky at times.