Tuesday, 6 December 2011

"Winter" birding in Guelph

I guess since we had our first snow fall of the season last night, it is starting to feel a little like winter. However, almost every body of water in the county is still wide open, and quite a few good birds for Wellington county in the winter are still around. With an urge to add a few lingering species to my Wellington winter list, yesterday Dave Bell, Emily Rooks, and I headed north to Guelph Lake to chase a Black-legged Kittiwake found 2 hours early by Mike Cadman. We didn't have any luck, and really didn't see anything of note!

Today I booked it to some spots in the southern part of the county. From my post to the WELLBIRDS listserv:

(Also, I'm really starting to learn that a 300 mm lens isn't conducive to photographing waterfowl a mile away)

Corner of Forestell Road and Wellington Road 32:
-1 Rusty Blackbird
-3 Brown-headed Cowbird
They were mixed in with about 500 starlings

Neibaur's marsh:
-1 female Ring-necked Duck
no luck with the Belted Kingfisher I had here the other day

Puslinch Lake (as viewed from the marina restaurant)
-2 female Red-breasted Merganser
-many Common Mergs, Hooded Mergs, and Common Goldeneye
-1 male Ring-necked Duck (in the small pond to the northeast of the main lake)
-6 Ruddy Duck
-1 Double-crested Cormorant (in the usual spot near the island)
-1 1st basic Lesser Black-backed Gull (presumably the same bird that I had December 2)
-1 2nd basic Glaucous Gull
-2 Great Black-backed Gull

2nd cycle Glaucous Gull with other gulls and waterfowl - Puslinch Lake

Double-crested Cormorant in the gloom - Puslinch Lake

Ring-necked Duck  - Puslinch Lake

McMillan Pit
-Eastern Meadowlark
-several C. Goldeneye, Bufflehead, A. Black Ducks etc

Quarry to the northeast of McMillan - not sure its name
-1 Double-crested Cormorant
-several Coots, Bufflehead, C. Goldeneye, A. Black Duck, etc
-no luck with the Bonaparte's Gull I had here on Dec 2

North end of Mountsberg:
-1 male Wood Duck
-1 Great Blue Heron
-1 White-throated Sparrow (at the feeder of the first house west of the little bridge)
-35 Cedar Waxwings in a tree (no Bohemians, unfortunately)
-no luck with the E. Bluebirds

backlit Cedar Waxwings - Mountsberg

Pond at the northeast corner of HWY 401 and the Hanlon
-2 female Greater Scaup
-1 adult wing-tagged Trumpeter Swan (it was hard reading the tag due to the distance/lighting, but I believe it said "334". Hopefully someone can confirm this)

Greater Scaup and Bufflehead - pond at corner of HWY 6 and HWY 401

So yeah, that about sums it up! I think I am close to 60 species for the county this month. Kind of a fun thing to do, though I'm sure it will really drop off once the real winter weather hits.

In other news, due to a few recent additions the Ontario winter list is 160 species. We are still missing a bunch of easy ones! Barrow's Goldeneye, Gyrfalcon, Dunlin, W. Snipe,  most of the owls, Red-headed Woodpecker, E. Towhee, Chipping, Field and Vesper Sparrows, Red Crossbill, etc!


  1. A Barrow's Goldeneye was at the end of Gray's Rd. yesterday seen by Barry Cherriere from what I heard.
    I had a Dunlin at the Rondeau dock on Saturday, but didn't think much of it!
    The listing continues!

  2. Thanks Blake! From what I understand the Gray's Road goldeneye is a hybrid.

    I'll take note of your Dunlin.