The 2016 Lakewood Circle (west side of Cleveland) Christmas Bird Count did remarkably well in locating a good variety of bird species. Despite many participants stating that they didn’t “do well” on their count route, 80 species were sighted overall, which is one of the highest if not the highest number of species for the Lakewood Circle.
Lakewood Christmas Bird Count Report 2016
Submitted by Nancy Howell, Compiler for the Lakewood Circle, Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society
Date: Friday, December 30, 2016
Results: 80 Species: 57 Participants
Time out in the field: 06:45 to 16:30
Circle: Lakewood (OHLK)
Lat/Long: 41.4602260000, -81.8576360000
The 2016 Lakewood Circle (west side of Cleveland) Christmas Bird Count did remarkably well in locating a good variety of bird species. Despite many participants stating that they didn’t “do well” on their count route, 80 species were sighted overall, which is one of the highest if not the highest number of species for the Lakewood Circle. December’s weather was up and down with the day of the count being near the average temperature ranging from the high 20’s through low 30”s throughout the day. Overcast skies with snow showers then breaks in the clouds with some sunshine occurred during the day. Wind gusts, especially in open areas and along Lake Erie, brought colder wind chills. A 2 inch snowfall the previous day remained on the ground for count day. Lake Erie was open with 12 foot or higher waves. Moving waters, streams and rivers, were also open. Inland ponds were mostly ice covered with a few openings of water.
As usual, the list contains most species one might expect at this time of year. A few species that have been regulars in past years were missing, but some nice surprises were found. The list includes 80 species on count day and 4 on count week for a total of 84 species. As of January 7, 2017, with all lists accounted for, here are the results of the 2016 Lakewood Circle (OH) Christmas Bird Count. Following the species list is commentary on the findings and lastly the list of 57 participants.
Note: Rare, unusual or unexpected species are bold, while count week (CW) species are in italics.
1. Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) - 712
2. Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) - 691
3. American Black Duck (Anas rubripes) - 11
4. Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) - 2
5. Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) Count week
6. Green-winged Teal (Anas carolinensis) - 1
7. Redhead (Aythya americana) - 53
8. Canvasback (Aythya valisineria) - 5
9. Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris) - 2
10. Greater Scaup (Aythya marila) - 4
11. Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis) - 233
Scaup sp. - 275
12. Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata) - 9
13. Black Scoter (Melanitta americana) - 4
14. Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) - 22
15. Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) - 1000
16. Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) - 2
17. Common Merganser (Mergus merganser) - 41
18. Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) - 4296
19. Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) - 4
20. Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus) - 1
21. Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) - 6
22. Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) - 1
23. Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) - 3
24. Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) - 9
25. Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) - 1
26. Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) - 14
27. Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus) - 2
28. Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) - 6
29. Red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) - 11
30. Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) - 4
31. Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus) - 1
32. American Coot (Fulica americana) - 17
33. Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) - 1
34. Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) - 5609
35. Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) - 805
36. Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) - 30
37. Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus) - 3
38. Bonaparte’s Gull (Chroicocephalus philadelphia) - 1
Gull sp. Hybrid GBBG x HEGU? - 1
39. Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) - 230
40. Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) - 126
41. Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) - 1
42. Barred Owl (Strix varia) - 2
43. Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus) - 1
44. Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) - 3
45. Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) - 9
46. Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) - 77
47. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius) - 1
48. Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) - 85
49. Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus) - 32
50. Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) - 7
51. Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) - 7
52. American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) - 3
53. Merlin (Falco columbarius) - 1
54. Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) - 4
55. American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) - 66
56. Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) - 248
57. Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) - 175
58. Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) - 79
59. White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) - 82
60. Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis) - 5
61. Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) - 7
62. Winter Wren (Troglodytes hiemalis) - Count week
63. Golden-crowned kinglet (Regulus satrapa) - 2
64. Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) - 28
65. American Robin (Turdus migratorius) - 505
66. European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) - 1086
67. Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) - 9
68. Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) (Setophaga coronata) - 2
69. Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas) - 1
70. American Tree Sparrow (Spizelloides arborea) - 77
71. Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca) - Count week
72. Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) - 42
73. Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana) - 6
74. White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) - 20
75. Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) - 320
76. Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) - 148
77. Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) - 36
78. Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) - 3
79. Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) - Count week
80. Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus) - 3
81. House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) - 80
82. Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus) - 1
83. American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) - 111
84. House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) - 762
Watching the weather prior to count day is a huge factor in seeing how many participants will be able to make it as well as considering what species may be sighted. Questions arise - Will Lake Erie be frozen?, Will inland ponds and lakes be frozen? How much snow will participants need to mush through? December 2016 had temperatures holding primarily in the 30’s and 40’s, throughout the month, nothing too bad. Monday, December 26, did break a record with a high of 68 degrees, however. A 2 inch snowfall on Thursday, December 29 remained on the ground and set the stage for the Friday, December 30th count.
Lake Erie and any moving waters, streams and rivers were ice free. Inland lakes and ponds were mostly frozen with maybe an opening in the ice along shorelines. Wind was a concern in open areas and along the lakefront. Twelve to 14 foot waves along with fog were reported by observers on Lake Erie which didn’t help in identifying or counting waterfowl. Waterfowl species diversity was pretty good, but, with Lake Erie’s waters open, numbers of some species were lower than in past years. The only species of goose was Canada Goose, despite participants scanning the flocks for another species. Dabbling duck diversity was low with Mallards being the most numerous. A couple of Wood Ducks, several American Black Duck, a single Green-winged Teal, an unusual species for our CBC, and a Northern Pintail sighted during count week, were nice additions. The participants along Lake Erie did a great job of recording diving and big water ducks. Redhead, Canvasback, Ring-necked Duck, both Greater and Lesser Scaup, two scoters (Surf and Black), along with Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, all three mergansers (Hooded, Red-breasted and Common) and Ruddy Duck Surprise! A male Harlequin Duck was also located on the lake. What a great find.
The only grebe was a single Pied-billed Grebe on Lake Erie along with 3 Double-crested Cormorants and 17 American Coot.
Wild Turkey were noted by two groups this year which is nice since sometimes they are missed.
Nine Great Blue Herons were reported, but only 3 Belted Kingfisher with 3 groups each reporting a single bird.
Well, well was our weather mild enough to keep a Turkey Vulture around? Apparently, since one was sighted - nice!. How many others may have been out there? Will we see more in future CBC’s? A good number of Bald Eagles, 14 were noted but several groups of observers. Sharp-shinned Hawks, something we don’t see often were noted by 2 individuals. The number of Red-tailed Hawks was lower than in the past. Should we blame that on weather conditions? A single Rough-legged Hawk at Cleveland Hopkins airport was a nice addition.
Surprise! Yes, another one. A single Sandhill Crane was spotted flying over the city of Berea.
Lake Erie’s open waters reduced the number of gulls species and, for some species, the number of individuals. Ring-billed, Herring, Great Black-backed, Lesser Black-backed and Bonaparte’s Gull were sighted along with a reported possibility of a hybrid Great Black-backed x Herring Gull.
Owls always seem hard to find, despite some time owling in the morning. A single Great Horned Owl, 2 Barred Owls and surprise a single Northern Saw-Whet Owl in a neighborhood yard were located on count day.
As we get into the species of birds that may be found at bird feeders, in backyards, parks, and green spaces our hopes were that the snowfall would concentrate some of the birds at feeders. Many feeder watchers and some participants on trails in parks mentioned how slow the birding was, but the number of species says something different. Every single species of woodpecker that we can expect on our CBC were found, some in good numbers. Nine Red-headed Woodpeckers were reported. One Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was a goodie. Seems as though Hairy Woodpecker numbers were up this year as were Northern Flicker. Flickers seem to like poison ivy fruits … keep that poison ivy growing folks.
American Crow numbers were low, are their populations truly down? Blue Jay numbers were good. Feeder favorites, Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmouse and White-breasted Nuthatch were widely reported. Five Red-breasted Nuthatch were located this year, a nice addition for this winter. Carolina Wren numbers were good and a single Winter Wren was noted during count week. Two Golden-crowned Kinglets made the list and a good number of Eastern Bluebirds were tallied by several observers. American Robins with numbers similar to last year were noted, as was a single sighting of a flock of 9 Cedar Waxwings. It pays to scan the fruiting trees and shrubs in urban and suburban areas.
Well, well, who expects not one but two species of warblers on a Christmas Bird Count? Two Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warblers which is not too unusual, but the surprise was a male Common Yellowthroat sighted at the Abrams wetland. The bird was seen prior to count week and relocated on count day, albeit briefly.
Sparrow species were typical of what is generally found in the count circle. American Tree Sparrow numbers were lower than in past years and Dark-eyed Juncos numbers were good. Song, Swamp and White-throated Sparrows rounded out the sparrow count for the day. A Fox Sparrow was noted during count week. The Lake-to-Lake trail wetlands produced most of the Song, Swamp and Tree sparrows for the day. Keep your eyes open in wetlands.
Red - winged Blackbirds and Common Grackle were noted on several tallies and Brown-headed Cowbirds were found during count week. A couple of nice finch findings rounded out the end with 3 Purple Finch and 1 Pine Siskin added to the usual House Finch and American Goldfinch portion of the list.
VolunteersMany, many thanks go out to all of the following birders who braved the elements … especially along the lakefront, as well as those who birded by car, on foot, watched feeders, did some owling. Don’t forget to plan ahead for Lakewood Circle Christmas Count on Saturday, December 30, 2017.
Jay Abercrombie, Ken and Lois Ballas, Buster Banish, Mary Bartos, Kathleen Bradley, Nancy Brewer, Sandy Brown, Erik Bruder, Jen Brumfield, Diane Busch, June Cangey, Frank Comodeca, Matt Courtman, Katelynn Dearth, Patti Donnillan, Maria and Rick Finchum, Bob Finkelstein, Ron Fleming, Joanne and Terry Gorges, Jim Heflich, Heather Hodges, Nancy and Don Howell, Mary Lou Hura, Debra Jesionowski, Claire Johnson, Lothar and Inge Jung, Rich Kassouf, Anna Kozlenko, Jeff and Marian Kraus, JoAnn Kubicki, Duane Kurapka, Tom Leiden, Paula Lozano, Terri Martincic, Matthew Matlak, Liz McQuaid, Kathy Murphy, Penny O’Connor, Michael Pasek, Chris Pierce, Marty Reynard, Tom and Mary Anne Romito, Jeremiah Roth, Linda Sekura, Mark Shaver, Chuck Slusarczyk, Jr., Page Stephens, Helen Taft, Kathleen Tiburzi, and Bev Walborn.
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