Recorded at Spice Kitchen + Bar, Gordon Arts District, 5800 Detroit Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio. Visit the Flickr Photo Album.
Five Great Black-backed Gulls and two Lesser Black-backed Gulls made nice additions to this year's list.
The 114th National Audubon Christmas Bird Count, Lakewood Circle Tally, sponsored by the Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society 2015
December 2015 was one of the more unusual months, weather-wise, and most likely contributed to the species found … or not. This year's Lakewood Circle (west side of Cleveland, Ohio) Christmas Bird Count was well covered by 74 participants.
Meteorologists reported that December 2015 had been the warmest December on record for our area with temperatures throughout the month well above normal. On count day, temperatures began at 50 degrees with overcast skies and lots of rain and drizzle. As the day wore on, temperatures steadily declined to the low 40’s and, for some, the upper 30’s. Very little wind was a blessing, but the rain which lasted half of the day, then persisted as drizzle, made for some difficult birding – difficult to see, to hear and even the birds didn’t want to get wet. The mild weather left Lake Erie and any inland waters; lakes, streams and rivers, wide open. Nothing to concentrate water birds. Similarly, songbirds were not concentrated by food sources due to the mild weather.
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As one reads through the list it may be noticeable that many species, normally seen at the time of the Christmas Count, are missing or were seen in low numbers. The list includes 63 species on count day and 5 count week for a total of 68 species. As of January 8, 2016, with all lists accounted for, below are the results of the 2015 Lakewood Circle (OH) Christmas Bird Count.
Mild weather and rain were the two weather items that influenced the 2015 Lakewood Circle (OH) Christmas Bird Count. A few other choice words regarding the rain were indicated by some participants, but they are not fit to print (just kidding). Lake Erie and all inland lakes, ponds and rivers were free of ice. Rain before and on count day caused rivers and streams to be swollen and in some areas, dangerously swiftly. Waterfowl species and numbers were considerably lower than in past years. Dabbling duck diversity (ooh, say that fast, three times) was low with no species out of the ordinary. Diving and big water ducks, were down greatly. One Redhead, one Greater Scaup were pathetically low numbers and the Redhead was not even sighted on Lake Erie, it was located on a small pond. Common Goldeneye had respectable numbers. Two species of scoter – Surf and White-winged – were nice finds. The only merganser tallied was the Red-breasted Merganser, again with very low numbers. No Canvasback, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser or Ruddy Ducks were noted. Mild weather, open water and, perhaps, the birds not even arriving from the north, all seem to add up to the poor showing of waterfowl.
Above: This year's sightings included Pied-billed Grebes, Great Blue Heron and Great Black-backed Gulls. Hover over photos for information. Click/tap to go to the Wikipedia source page.
Some of the day's highlights:
Above: A well-deserved thanks goes out to all of the volunteers who birded by car, on foot, watched feeders, did some owling, etc. Hover over photos for information. Click/tap for Lightbox view.
Sparrow species were typical of what is generally found in the count circle. American Tree Sparrow and Dark-eyed Juncos numbers were fairly high, Song and White-throated Sparrows were in good number, Swamp Sparrows should be more common, but their numbers are consistently low. Five Fox Sparrows were a good find for count day and a winter plumaged Chipping Sparrow was a great addition to count day.
Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackle seem to be becoming winter regulars in the count circle. While not many, they do add to the list. Two Brown-headed Cowbirds, while maybe not the most delightful of species, also made the list this year. American Goldfinch were fairly abundant, but House Finch numbers seemed to slip a bit. House Sparrows seemed to be everywhere.
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