Common Loons © Mike MacLeod

2006 Christmas Bird Count Report

Count Day: December 26, 2006.

Thanks to all those who participated in the count. We had a count total of 55,488 individual birds and an impressive number of species seen – 101.We also had 5 count week species.
The Hamilton Count is conducted in a 24 kilometre diameter circle centered on Dundurn Castle.

Conditions on the day were mixed with those counting near the lake and the east mountain having to endure strong winds, driving rain and sleet early in the day. To accurately ID and count waterfowl on the lake you need fairly calm conditions. We had the opposite. Hence the high number of unidentified duck species recorded. Inland conditions were much calmer with moderate south winds and temperatures ranging from 2 to 4 degrees with little or no precipitation. Although weather conditions were good, birds were hard to find and from my own perspective I often had to walk a long way to find few birds. Nevertheless, at the end of the day I was rewarded with a sight of 6 Eastern Bluebirds glowing in the fading sunlight.

The count statistics are as follows:

Counters in the field – 86
Feeder watchers – 14
Owling Parties – 9
Total participants – 100
Number of hours feeder watching – 78
Number of hours owling- 10
Number of hours walking – 158
Number of hours of daytime driving – 65
Total party hours – 312
Distance driven – 1,165 km
Distance walked owling – 10 km
Distance walked daytime – 243 km
Total party distance – 1,418 km

The individual species count is as follows:
(Average refers to average count over the last ten years)

Insert bird count table here.
Highlights of this years count were as follows:
Snowy Owl discovered off Eastport Drive by Stuart Mackenzie
New records for American Coot – 167, previous record was 156 in 2001
Red-bellied Woodpecker – 33, previous record 29 in 2005
Carolina Wren – 35, previous record 28 in 2005
High counts for Red-breasted Merganser – 260 which was the second highest count after 285 in 1954
Red-tailed Hawk – 166, the 2nd highest count since 186 counted in 1970
Blue Jay – 474, 2nd highest count since 498 were counted in 1994
Black-capped Chickadee – 2,013, the 2nd highest count since 2,109 were counted in 2005

Low totals were recorded for:

American Crow – only 518 were counted, the lowest total since 1962 when only 500 were counted
Most Duck and Gull species were low, but considering that there was still open water to the far north, these species are probably widely scattered
No northern Finches were seen
No Horned Larks were seen
No Ruffed Grouse were found this year

Birds seen in count week but not on December 26th:
Eastern Towhee
Rusty Blackbird
Black-legged Kittiwake
Harlequin Duck
Horned Grebe

2006 Participants:
Soren Anderson, Christine Bishop, Barrie Boatman, Mary Booker, Peter Booker, Mike Boyd, Carla Brechin, Hazel Broker, Fran Bullock, Wayne Bullock, Albert Butwick, Evelyn Butwick, Alexa Carson, Sue Carson, Melanie Cave, Jerry Chapple, Nina Chapple, Michael Clark, Jim Cram, Mark Cranford, Tim Cranford, Bill Crins, Tom Crooks, Bob Curry, Martin Daly, Jeni Darling, Sandy Darling, Edward Dinniwell, Rob Dobos, Dave Don, Jim Dowall, Brian Drown, Bernard Dutka, Helene Dutka, Cheryl Edgecombe, Kathy Evans, Lois Evans, Russ Evans, Lynn Florek, Hugh Fuller, Janet Fuller, Hillary Gallant, Gordon Halet-Syms, Jeannie Halet-Syms, John Hannah, Fran Hicks, Kyna Intini, Mark Jennings, Jean Johnson, Ian Jolliffe, Graham Jones, Tim King, Shirley Klement, Ursula Kolster, Bill Lamond, Gary Landon, Maryann Lennox, Deborah Lindeman, Rick Ludkin, Bruce Mackenzie, Stuart Mackenzie, Deborah MacLeod, April McCrum, Barb McKean, Kevin McLaughlin, Don McLean, Jeff McLean, Gord McNulty, Bill Mcspurren, Diane Mcspurren, John Millman, Brian Mishell, Dolores Mishell, Frank Morley, George Naylor, Helen Nichol, Sari Nichol, John Olmsted, Dennis Price, Bill Read, David Restivo, Orv Reynolds, Alfred Senior, Elaine Serena, Glenda Slessor, Chris Slote, Bill Smith, Dorothy Smith, Gord Lewer, Bob Stamp, Mike Street, Ruth Summers, Tom Thomas, Louise Unitt, Phil Waggett, Rob Waldhuber, Angie Williams, Ken Williams, Ross Wood, Brian Wylie

Compiler: Tom Thomas (January 9, 2007)