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Clark's Crossing Bird Count - 19. December 2009 (19th annual count)

By Michael Williams, count compiler

This count is centered on the river immediately north of the city and includes the communities of Martensville, Warman, and Osler, as well as parts of the Strawberry Hills. Count day was relatively mild, -10 to -7°C, but a low foggy overcast made it a rather gloomy day, and there was not a lot of bird activity away from feeders.

In spite of this, the excellent complement of 26 field participants, assisted by two feeder watchers, managed to tally 3,031 birds representing 31 species.

Although the river was almost completely frozen, open water near the sewage treatment plant revealed 87 Canada Geese, and for the first time one Cackling Goose. The latter is a recent subdivision of the small arctic-nesting Canada Goose which has been granted full species status.

Some new high counts were established: Blue Jay (11), Black-capped Chickadee (185), Red-breasted Nuthatch (36, representing a remarkable increase from the four seen in 2007), Cedar Waxwing (17), White-winged Crossbill (37), and Pine Siskin (39).

Most other species were seen in low to average numbers: Common Goldeneye (11), Bald Eagle (1), Northern Goshawk (1), Gray Partridge (12), Sharp-tailed Grouse (35), Rock Pigeon (311), Great Horned Owl (4), Snowy Owl (3), Downy Woodpecker (9), Hairy Woodpecker (13), Northern Flicker (3), Horned Lark (2), Northern Shrike (1), Black-billed Magpie (307), Common Raven (87), White-breasted Nuthatch (1), American Robin (2), European Starling (28), Dark-eyed Junco (3), Snow Bunting (62), House Finch (3), Common Redpoll (12), and House Sparrow (1,706). In addition, one unidentified large falcon or Hawk was observed catching a pigeon in flight, and then flying away out of sight.

Last updated: 6 February, 2010