December 1997 Sightings

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Saturday, December 27: The Amherstburg portion of the Rockwood CBC recorded 50 species today. Highlights included 22 Northern Fickers, 5 Carolina Wrens and 9 Eastern Bluebirds. Click here for complete results.

Monday, December 22: Highlights for the Point Pelee CBC (94 species) included Orange-crowned Warbler, Lesser Black-backed Gull and both crossbills. New record highs for the count included American Tree Sparrow (1900), Hooded Merganser (19) and Eastern Phoebe (3).

Sunday, December 21: The Blenheim/Rondeau CBC set a new record today with 114 species. Highlights included Osprey, Sora, Virginia Rail, Purple Sandpiper and two Eastern Phoebes. Record high counts were established for 17 species, including 12 ducks, Bald Eagle (12) and Common Redpoll (815).

Winter begans today at 3:07 p.m. EST, when the Sun stands directly over the Tropic of Capricorn in the South Pacific Ocean. Today's midday Sun is lowest of the year, and days are shortest. For more information on celestial events visit Skywatcher's Diary.

Saturday, December 20: Highlights for the Cedar Creek CBC included Double-crested Cormorant, Virginia Rail, Merlin and Green-winged Teal. New record highs were reported for Great Blue Heron (50), Red-bellied Woodpecker (19), White-breasted Nuthatch (106), Winter Wren (16) and Dark-eyed Junco (1065). The 93 species recorded was the second highest total for this CBC.

Friday, December 19: Highlights for the Pelee Island Christmas Bird Count (part of Ohio's Erie Islands CBC) included Mountain Bluebird, Tree Swallow and Ontario's first winter Willet.

Monday, December 15: Yesterday a Golden Eagle and two Bald Eagles were seen by Fred Urie and Jim McCoy at Holiday Beach, along with over 20 Great Blue Herons. Short-eared Owls have been reported at the Windsor airport by Phil Roberts. The best time to look for Short-eared Owls is at 5:00 pm from the north side of the airport at the end of Jefferson or Pillette. The Selasphorus hummingbird in Tecumseh was still present on December 13th.

Local Christmas Bird Counts start this coming weekend. Check the upcoming events page to find out more.

Friday, December 12: In winter Opossums are often seen visiting bird feeders at night or occasionally during the daytime. Opossums moved into our area around 1990 and have become quite common, even in urban areas.

Alan Wormington found an Eastern Phoebe today and Common Yellowthroat yesterday at Point Pelee.

Friday, December 5: The Northern Hawk-Owl has not been seen. Three or four Short-eared Owls were present at the same airport at 5:00 pm. yesterday and a Snowy Owl and two Lesser Black-backed Gulls have been present around the pier area at nearby Erieau.

Thursday, December 4: The Northern Hawk-Owl was seen briefly at noon south of the airport and again at 3:20 pm. along County Rd. 10 but poor weather caused most birders to miss the bird.

Wednesday, December 3: A Northern Hawk-Owl was discovered yesterday afternoon by Irene Woods at the northwest corner of the Chatham municipal airport. The airport is located about 3 km. south of Charring Cross on County Road 10. The owl was found along the gravel road which borders the north side of the airstrip. The bird was still present this afternoon.

Tuesday, December 2: December is the start of the winter season when many birders keep a "winter" list of species seen between December 1st and the end of February. Early December is a good time to find lingering species that will be difficult to locate later in the season. Some good birds seen during the last few days include Selasphorus hummingbird (today in Tecumseh, C. Fraser), Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Nov 28, Pelee, Michael Carlson), Blue-headed Vireo (Nov 30, Holiday Beach, F. Urie) and King Eider (Nov 29, Marentette Beach near Pelee, Glenn Gervais).

November 1997

Tuesday, November 25: A female/immature male Selasphorus hummingbird has been visiting a feeder in Tecumseh since November 9th.

All of the "winter" finches have been reported in Essex County this month. Visit Cornell's Winter Finch Invasion'97 web site to review currrent distribution (updated biweekly), and review appearance and vocalizations for each species.

Monday, November 24: A Fox Sparrow has been a regular visitor to the Nature Centre feeders for the past week.

Thursday, November 20: Counters at Holiday Beach tallied 161 Common Redpolls and 94 Snow Buntings (Fred Urie).

Saturday, November 8: Hawk counters at Holiday Beach (Sue Tanner, Steve Greidanus, Allen Chartier, Denis Boulay, Mike Fitzpatrick, Fred Urie, Jim McCoy, Greg Coleman and other visitors) tallied 2,540 raptors today including 1,927 Red-tailed Hawks, 13 Northern Goshawks and 7 Golden Eagles. Other observations: 36 Eastern Bluebirds, 17 Tundra Swans, redpolls and a Long-eared Owl found roosting in a pine along the upper nature trail. Allen Chartier banded a record late Least Flycatcher.

07 Nov: 789 Common Redpolls passed by the Hawk Tower at Holiday Beach today! This is an all-time high count for Holiday Beach (fide Fred Urie).

Three Rough-legged Hawks were seen today just south of Windsor, in a field at the corner of Howard Ave and Concession 8 by Dan Dufour.

06 Nov: The Holiday Beach Migration Observatory recorded 1,359 raptors today from the hawk tower. The migration was non-stop all day with an estimated 300,000 American Crows, an estimated 200,000 blackbirds including Common Grackles and Brown-headed Cowbirds, +500 American Robins, 228 Horned Larks, 8 Eastern Bluebirds, 17 American Pipits, 64 Cedar Waxwings, 27 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 13 Lapland Longspurs, 16 Purple Finches, 47 House Finches, 145 Common Redpolls, 38 Pine Siskins and 138 American Goldfinches (Jack Boxer, Ray Seng, Jim McCoy and Fred Urie).

A Helmeted Guineafowl has been a daily visitor to the Nature Centre feeders over the past three weeks. Witch-hazel shrubs are in full flower at Ojibway.

04 Nov: A Pine Siskin appeared at the Centre's niger feeder today, accompanied by a flock of American Goldfinches.

01 Nov: The Nature Centre field trip to Point Pelee recorded over 400 American Pipits flying off the tip, 12 Common Loons, several Horned Grebes and a single Red-throated Loon.

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