December/Year Report

It’s hard to believe that’s its time to turn in our keys for 2018! It’s been a good year for birding in Essex County, Ontario. Lots of really cool birds were there for the finding.


December closed out relatively slow. I had the opportunity to participate in the Point Pelee Christmas Bird Count. It seems that Christmas Bird Counts in Ontario, for the most part, have had fairly low counts.

Throughout the month, I found 55 species–which is 3 lower than last December. I only picked up one year bird (Lesser Black-backed Gull), bringing my Essex County year total to 218 and my North American year total to 235. Highlights include a Snowy Owl, Ring-necked Duck, and White-winged Scoter in Windsor, several Bald Eagles, a Common Loon at the Point Pelee Christmas Bird Count, and good numbers of Tundra Swan in various locations. I also birded the Point Pelee cemetery for the first time.

Ah! Here comes January 1st, the time when our year lists reset to 0 and the House Sparrow becomes a year bird!


Though December has been slow, I can say that I truly had an amazing birding year. I’ve crossed off 10 of the 15 “2018 Goals” I outlined in this post. Here are some other numeric highlights:

  1. 37 lifers.
  2. 35 new birds for my Essex County list.
  3. 218 species on the year in Essex County
  4. 235 species on the year in North America.

So, what are my birding goals for 2019? Here they are

  1. See 220 species for the year in Essex County.
  2. See 240 species for the year in North America.
  3. Reach 150 species for my life in the USA (currently at 140, so just 10 more).
  4. See a Northern Shrike (missed in 2017 and 2018)
  5. See a Red-throated Loon (missed in 2018)
  6. See a Long-tailed Duck (missed in 2018)
  7. See a Yellow-headed Blackbird (lifer)
  8. See a Little Blue Heron (lifer–the last of the realistic Ontario heron/egret species)
  9. See or hear a Saw Whet Owl (lifer)
  10. See a Barred Owl (lifer)
  11. See a Blue-winged Warbler (lifer)
  12. See a Golden-winged Warbler (lifer)

Happy New Year and good birding in 2019!

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November Report

November has been a slow birding month, certainly the slowest yet this year. My species count for the month (59) was well behind last November.

And, again, my camera is out of commission for repairs.

That said, there were some major highlights. I saw my first Brant ever, which is very rare locally. I also saw my first Short-eared Owl of the year. The view wasn’t very satisfying, but after not seeing one since February 2017, I’ll take what I can get! Other than those two species, there were no new additions to my Essex County year list, which sits at 217.

As it is now December, I’m looking forward to participating in the annual Point Pelee Birding Area Christmas Bird Count!

Good birding!

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