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Summary, Barrie Christmas Bird Count 2019-12-14


Dear CBC lovers,

Please accept my apologies for this tardy posting. I have a tough time balancing priorities.

The weather was a "factor" as fog, rain and heavy, wet snowfall made visibility poor for spotting birds, particularly waterfowl, raptors and open country passerines. Generally, birds seemed to be hunkered down out-of-sight, making birding on foot and pishing the most productive, if not the most comfortable strategy. However, icy footing, rain and the heavy, wet snowfall limited foot travel to birders more nimble and better equipped for the weather. "There is no bad weather. There is just inadequate equipment." Group leaders and field observers wisely and prudently managed the risks and considered their group’s abilities, safely yielding overall effort numbers very comparable to 2018. However, several groups were thwarted by the weather and road conditions and unable to safely get to some parts of their territories. We had 67 field observers in 16 parties (there was a party for everyone!) and 20 feeder watchers. Thus, total individuals 12,832 and total species 61 were both down, respectively 2,130 (15%) fewer individual birds and 7 (10%) fewer species, than last year. I suggest the lower numbers were primarily attributable to the weather keeping birds hidden and making field surveys difficult. Gull and waterfowl numbers were also reduced due to lower numbers/availability of Emerald Shiners this year. Another factor that has limited Gull numbers for the past few years, is the City of Barrie’s successful use of falconry to discourage many Gulls from frequenting the Sandy Hollow Landfill site.

I wish to thank all of the participants, and particularly our expert, dedicated and diligent group leaders, for another safe, enjoyable and productive Barrie Christmas Bird Count. You have each made a valuable contribution to citizen science and to the conservation of birds.

Special thanks:
to Social Director Christine Beggs for coordinating the delicious potluck supper, and
to all of the 47 contributing potluckers, and
to Brian Backland for entering and analysing the tally data and for archiving the data.

Rarities
Green-winged Teal (American) [Anas crecca carolinensis]
Redhead [Aythya americana] 3
Northern Saw-whet Owl [Aegolius acadicus]
Merlin [Falco columbarius]
Swamp Sparrow [Melospiza georgiana]
cw Peregrine Falcon [Falco peregrinus]

Misses
cw Northern Pintail (female observed regularly before and after CBC)
cw Golden Eagle (observed and photographed by Ken MacDonald)
cw Bald Eagles (adults, 1st year and 4th year birds observed before and after CBC)
Rough-legged Hawk was not reported on count day, nor during cw, but two were observed in the CBC circle on January 3rd and others prior to cw, so the weather likely prevented observation of this species on count day.
cw American Robin
Not unexpectedly, due to abundant food in the north, nomadic winter finches were virtually absent with only 1 Common Redpoll observed on count day.

There were no other remarkable high or low counts of other species this year.

Here're a couple of shots from Springwater Provincial Park in Midhurst...
Mallard pair
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) by Chris Evans, on Flickr

Barred Owl
Barred Owl (Strix varia) by Chris Evans, on Flickr

A pdf of the tally, including Area tallies, has been posted in our Facebook Group "Nature Barrie" Files tab, and will soon be posted on www.NatureBarrie.com under "Christmas Bird Counts" in the "Reports" tab.

Yours in Nature,

Chris Evans, Nature Barrie - Barrie CBC Compiler/Coordinator

Donations to Birds Canada to help cover costs of the CBC would be greatly appreciated. Below is the Birds Canada CBC Link to information on how to donate and support the CBC.



Birds Canada CBC Donations

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