It was another slow week of birding for me. I didn’t find many opportunities to get out and as a result, no new species to report. The highest numbers observed were Dark-eyed Juncos and Mourning Doves. Good numbers of American Tree Sparrows and White-throated Sparrows were seen feeding throughout the various goldenrod fields. A few walks along the Thames River revealed both Common and Hooded Mergansers and the number of Buffleheads seem to be increasing. Great blue Herons were also present along the banks in search of food.
Westminster Ponds turned up the two previously mentioned sparrow species as well as juncos. I observed a Cooper’s Hawk and a Red-tailed Hawk chase each other out of the woods on the east side of the ESA. It was difficult to tell who was chasing who but the Cooper’s Hawk returned to the wooded area so I scored it Cooper’s 1 Red-tailed 0.
The greatest activity of the week took place at my feeders with seventeen species recorded in my yard. My favourite regulars in the yard are definitely the woodpeckers with the Red-bellied and Northern Flicker tied for top spot. The Cooper’s Hawks that have been making appearances in the backyard were not seen this week but watching all the birds scatter for cover on numerous occasions led me to believe there were a few fly overs for sure. Sunday’s heavy snowsqualls kept the feeders busy all day with multiple refills required. A Mourning Dove hit the window on Sunday afternoon and fell to the deep snow. Most of the bird was buried in the snow but we could see it was still breathing, but quite heavy. Thankfully it took off unscathed when we pulled it from the deep snow. It seems that there was too much snow for it to right itself into a position where it could take off. Good thing we heard it hit or it would have perished in the snow for sure.
I’m hoping this week will provide better weather and more opportunities to get out. Cooler temperatures in the forecast combined with all this snow may be just what is needed to see a new winter species in the area.