Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Big January 2011 Totals

The last two birds of my January 2011 count were found near a water treatment plant where warm water is discharged into the Grand River. It is one of the few spots left with open water after the recent deep freeze. This is my second year finding a Belted Kingfisher in January.

Beavers have been working the area too and have undertaken the felling of a large willow in the floodplain.

The usual crowd of ducks and geese, including Common Mergansers rested on the ice or paddled around in the shallow water. A juvenile Bald Eagle soared overhead. I have seen several eagles in various locations this year.

The trail was flooded and as I watched from the edge of the temporary lagoon, a Great Blue Heron flew in and landed in the trees in the middle of this picture. It huddled on a branch, its head tucked in from the cold, likely wishing it had joined others of its kind in flying to Florida for the season. It was my first January Great Blue Heron.

So my total number of species for January 2011 was 52, down from 56 last year and 61 the year before. But I saw five new January species and two of them were life birds. (The Varied Thrush was actually first seen in December 2010). Each winter is different and the birds pick and choose places most favourable for food. In the past three years I have counted 75 different January species within an hour of our home. Here is this year's list:

*First January sighting
  • American Black Duck
  • American Coot
  • American Crow
  • American Goldfinch
  • American Robin
  • American Tree Sparrow
  • Bald Eagle
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Blue Jay
  • Brown Creeper
  • Bufflehead
  • Canada Goose
  • Canvasback Duck
  • Common Goldeneye
  • Common Merganser
  • Common Raven
  • Coopers Hawk
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Great Black-backed Gull
  • Great Blue Heron*
  • Greater Scaup
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Herring Gull
  • House Finch
  • House Sparrow
  • Long-tailed Duck
  • Mallard Duck
  • Mourning Dove
  • Mute Swan
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Northern Harrier
  • Northern Mockingbird*!
  • Peregrine Falcon* (life bird)
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Red-breasted Merganser
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Redhead Duck
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Ring-necked Duck
  • Rock Pigeon
  • Rough-legged hawk
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk
  • Snow Bunting
  • Trumpeter Swan
  • Tundra Swan*
  • Varied Thrush*(life bird)
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Wild Turkey
Other birders I know who participated in the January count are Kathie of Kathie's Birds and Larry of The Brownstone Birding Blog.


  1. How good to see your list! It's amazing to see what we have the same and what we have different. I believe Larry is going to post his list soon also. I think it was a hard year for all of us Northern birders and the birds! I know that Bird Couple participated and they got 110 species! But, they live farther south in Maryland.

    Congrats on the Life Birds! I got one out of all of this. Participating does help January to pass swiftly, especially here in the Northeast! Great Job!

  2. That is an impressive list.You must be a dedicated birder.

  3. You're a busy birder and blogger. The Kingfisher is very cute.

  4. Your list is impressive! Great photo of the kingfisher.

  5. Considering how cold Jan has been I'm surprised there weren't less birds. Nice to add lifers to your list. Your images do have a cold look. Those beavers are taking on quite a large tree.

  6. Still a VERY impressive list my friend!

  7. Your counts may be down, but I believe the fun you had reaching it was high. You seen a great deal of exciting birds and some lifers. The King Fisher looks cute with his ruffled feathers trying to keep warm.

  8. Wow, I'm impressed so many birds are there - probably around here, also, and I don't have the "eyes" to see them!


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