Today I went out looking just to see what the conditions were like, and maybe find a few birds. I roamed around the former Dover Twp and noted three Snowy Owls in their usual choice of locations around the Winterline/Mallard Line area. But all were well out in the fields and on the ground. It could be that the windy conditions convinced them it was more comfortable there. I expect that we will have a new record of Snowy Owls recorded tomorrow. Given the recent cold weather, it is likely many other birds have left the area, and Snowy Owls might be the only species that sets a new record....time will tell.
There are still a few Tundra Swans around, but not in the numbers of a few weeks ago, when this next image was taken.
I headed over to the mouth of the Thames River at Lighthouse Cove. All of the moving water was open, but still water was mostly frozen.
|Looking upstream from the river mouth|
|Out to Lake St. Clair|
Around the open water were a few things of interest: a Ruddy Duck was cooperative right close to the dock.
On the other side of the dock, was a group of ducks. Most were of the farm yard/hybrid variety.
There are a few good looking Mallards here, but their behaviour indicated that they were used to hand outs. As soon as I arrived, they left their more sheltered area and came right over! The ducks with a lot of white in various patches are hybrids between Mallards and the duck in this next image, a Pekin duck, which is a common domesticated/farm yard species. Of course these are not countable for the CBC.
Crows are definitely a part of the C-K landscape. Our highest CBC total was almost 160,000 crows back in about 2000. That was when they were relatively easy to count before day break as they left their night time roost. Since then their roosts have been less consistent due to human disruption, so our numbers are not nearly as high, or not likely as accurate either. I expect the same number of crows are around, it is just more difficult to count them and it wasn't exactly easy before.