Carden Alvar Nature Board by Bob BowlesCarden Alvar Christmas Bird Count Results

Carden Alvar CBC Summary 2017-2018

The Carden Alvar Christmas Bird Count was held on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 in the midst of a very cold arctic air mass and polar vortex which sat over the area leading up to count day and after it for four more days.
Therefore, much of the normally open water was completely ice-covered resulting in few reports of waterfowl other than in the faster flowing Talbot River near the lift locks. Only 1 Barred Owl reported but there were many reports of Snowy Owls on other Ontario counts. No gulls, kingfisher, herons or other species that need open water were reported. No hawks of any kind were observed. Gray Jays were absent again this year. Redpolls not in the area yet but recently reported in Algonquin Park. No Brown Creeper or lingering American Robins or Eastern Bluebirds.

A total of 2,156 birds of 34 species were observed by 17 field observers and 6 feeder counters. This is down from last year which had 2,667 birds of 36 species or two years ago with 3,703 birds of 45 species. The trend continues with fewer birds being observed in recent years. There were no new bird species for the count but a new high count for White-breasted Nuthatches at 188.

A total of 43 mammals of 5 species were observed for the count with no new species reported but a new high for porcupine at 4, out feeding in the open of a very cold day. Given the extremely cold weather around count week an Eastern Chipmunk reported as being active at Ginny Moore’s is of interest. The count week Northern Flicker was also of interest.

Many thanks to the members of the Carden Field Naturalists for hosting the event with Karen, Paul and Tom organizing the food, recreation centre, pot-luck dinner and helping with data input. Thanks to everyone who took part and we will watch with interest new year to see if we again have fewer birds in the area.

Bob Bowles – Carden Alvar Christmas Bird Count founder and compiler

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