Susan's Birding and Nature Blog

Sunday, 16 December 2018

London CBC 2018 - The Coves

The Coves ESA, London, Ontario

Saturday, December 15, 2018 was the London Christmas Bird Count 2018.  It was 5c and sun.  There was no snow.  Where we were walking the ground was soft and muddy at times.

We started at Euston Park.  Euston Park is found south of the Cove ponds between Emery St, and Wharncliffe Rd. S  The woods west end of the park is part of the Coves ESA.  Silver Creek flows north through those woods to the Coves.

At the start, we saw American Goldfinches, White-breasted Nuthatches, one American Robin, and Northern Cardinals.  There were a lot of Dark-eyed Juncos (24), American Goldfinches (19), Northern Cardinals (24), Blue Jay (1), and Common Crows (3),  

We walked around all the Cove sections.  We had a lot of woodpeckers species, Red-bellied Woodpecker (3), Downy Woodpecker (12) and Hairy Woodpecker (1).           

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

We got both Nuthatches, Red-breasted Nuthatch (3) and White-breasted Nuthatch (3) and Black-capped Chickadees (15), and heard (1) Carolina Wren.   

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

We saw 3 Brown Creepers.  I love Brown Creepers...they are cute little birds.  I don't see them often.  I tried to get a good photo of the Brown Creeper but ended up with a photo of a tree truck.  

The hawks were out hunting.  This Red-tailed Hawk went flying down for his prey and flew up to another nearby tree with a mouse.  We saw 3 Red-tailed Hawks in total.

Most of the Coves were frozen but there were some small open water and moving streams.  That's where we saw 4 Great Blue Herons.  Also around the reeds, there were Song Sparrows (9), Swamp Sparrows (5), and Mallards (46).

Great-Blue Heron

There was a field of Canada Geese (105), lots of Mourning Doves (28) and Rock Doves (29).  We saw one Herring Gull and one Ring-billed Gull fly overhead.  Also saw or heard House Sparrows (15).

So a total of 29 species were found but I only saw 25 species.  I missed the Cooper's Hawk and Winter Wren.  After we were done for the day, a couple of birders saw a Merlin and a Starling.

So we were out birding for 5 hours.  It was a fun day.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Short Stop at Hyde Park

Hyde Park Drainage Pond, London, Ontario - December 14, 2018

With rain earlier this morning and milder temperatures, we've lost most of the snow.  It was 5c, partly cloudy. 
I briefly stopped at Hyde Park this afternoon.  This Red-tailed Hawk was quite comfortable looking around.

These Ring-billed Gulls were standing right in the middle of the pond on thin ice.