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2006 Hamilton Fall Bird Count

…include the low Ruffed Grouse total (1!) and Ring-necked Pheasant total (1). The Ruffed Grouse is really in decline in our count circle although it is still easy enough to hear drumming in the spring in the Beverly Swamp area. Now, it seems hard to believe that the 1983 fall count recorded 41 Ruffed Grouse!

Lastly, I dedicate the 2006 HFBC to the memory of Bruce Duncan who died on 11 Nov 2006 from complications of a tragic car crash the previous day. Bruce was a great supporter of the natural world. He is eulogized elsewhere in this issue, but I thought I would point out that he was a great supporter of the fall bird count. Bruce was the compiler of the count for 8 years and had participated on 21 counts including this year’s count. Even with his busy workload as the General Manager of the Hamilton Conservation Authority and commitments to his young family, he always had time to do the count whenever I asked him each year. His accident was of a type that a fraction of a second would have made the difference between life and death and is something that could have happened to any one of us. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to his wife Janet and the two children, James and Katie.

Area Covered: Selected areas within a 40.2km radius of Dundurn Castle, Hamilton, Ontario (Hamilton Study Area-HSA) including: the Lake Ontario shoreline from Port Credit to Beamsville; the Conservation Areas of Berry, Binbrook, Burns, Christie, Felker’s Falls, Fifty Point, Mountsberg, Valens, Dundas Valley, and Spencer Gorge; Islay, Puslinch, Mohawk and Dunmark Lakes; Scotch Block Reservoir; Cootes Paradise; Woodland & Holy Sepulcher Cemeteries; Kings Forest; Esquesing and Frank Tracts; Bronte, Rattray, Middletown and Van Wagners Marshes; Vanderliek Farm Pond; Courtcliff Park; Rock Chapel Sanctuary; Waterworks Park; Joe Sams Park; Shell Park; Green Lane Wetland; Brantford and Tom Howe (Hagersville) Landfills; Six Nations I.R.; Beverly Swamp; Hamilton Harbour; Windermere Basin; Mill, Milton Town & Tollgate Ponds; Smithville, Grimsby and Cainsville Sewage Ponds; Borers, Spring Valley, Stoney, Bronte, and Oakville Creek ravines; Red Hill, Dundas and Hendrie Valleys; and the Grand River from Cayuga to Cambridge.

Sunday, November 5, 2006: 12:00am-1:00am, 3:15am-5:30pm. Weather: Temperature 0-2 C at dawn to a high varying from 9 -12 C. 100% overcast in the am with some sun later in the day. No precipitation. Visibility at Lake Ontario good. Winds very light at dawn, increasing to 15km/hr from the SW in the afternoon. 117 observers in 56 parties. Total party hours: 379.7.

Species: Underlined totals represent record-high numbers, except when indicated as record-low. Numbers in brackets following underlined totals give the previous high (or low) count and the year(s). Underlined species require documentation for the Hamilton Bird Records Committee either as date or geographic rarities (see Date Guide to the Birds of the Hamilton Area)….