19 November 2017

East Kootenay eBird 2017: Firsts and Yearly Species Count


Random photos, because we like photos:


Tree Swallow nestling

Weird Tree Swallow eggs - one too small and the other too long and skinny

Species count by year

How did all we eBirders do this year for the species count in the region overall?

Here are the species counts for the last 5 years:



2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017toDate
Count of sp
221
234
233
230
243
231


Wow, 2016 was a very good year for us.  The species we got that year that we haven't got in the other years are:

Black Scoter
Ferruginous Hawk
Western Screech-Owl
Black-throated Green Warbler

(Oh, I guess I did not do a 'new species' post last year, oops.  I am so inconsistent 😳)

That gives us an average over the previous five years of 232 species.
So, we are about average!  Very good.

 

Didn't get this year

So, what did we miss this year that we could possibly get this year?  Not much.  Maybe Hoary Redpoll, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Snowy Owl, a wayward Thrasher?  Birders are an optimistic bunch, why else would we just keep birding?  So, you never know!

Here is a list of species recorded in the previous five years that we haven't got this year:


Species
Count of Yrs
Ross's Goose
2
Tufted Duck
1
Black Scoter
1
Long-tailed Duck
2
Pacific Loon
1
Clark's Grebe
3
Great Egret
1
White-faced Ibis
3
Broad-winged Hawk
2
Swainson's Hawk
3
Ferruginous Hawk
1
Black-bellied Plover
2
Dunlin
1
White-rumped Sandpiper
1
Red Phalarope
1
Willet
1
Franklin's Gull
2
Mew Gull
1
Black Tern
5
Forster's Tern
3
Western Screech-Owl
1
Snowy Owl
1
Short-eared Owl
1
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
1
Broad-tailed Hummingbird
1
Cordilleran Flycatcher
1
Loggerhead Shrike
1
Brown Thrasher
2
Sage Thrasher
2
Sprague's Pipit
1
Magnolia Warbler
3
Blackpoll Warbler
3
Palm Warbler
1
Black-throated Green Warbler
1
Lark Bunting
1
Golden-crowned Sparrow
4
Swamp Sparrow
1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
1
Indigo Bunting
1
Hoary Redpoll
2
 
The most disturbing no-show is Black Tern. Not one was recorded in the region this year. 

The last one was seen in June of 2016.

Prior to that, over the previous 25 years, the only years Black Tern was not recorded were 2011 and 1992.

I desperately hope they come back next spring.  A couple of years ago, their main nesting habitat at Elizabeth Lake was altered by a flood caused by a plugged culvert. All the floating reeds were blown onshore.  I hope the habitat becomes suitable again and some terns show up to use it!

DID get this year!

BUT we added two new species to the regional list never documented before in the East Kootenay!  In November, to boot!

They are:

1) Anna's Hummingbird - Wycliffe, BC


My lousy record shot - but look at the peaks in the background!  Crazy bird!

We have had claims of Anna's in the past but documentation was not forthcoming.  It was even included on our old pre-eBird checklist.

This one, a juvenile female, has likely been in the area since at least September but the homeowner, who is a sporadic eBirder, did not report her until November.  Nevertheless, thank you for reporting! ... and nice heating arrangement!  Thanks for doing that.  The homeowners have been very accommodating in hosting birders to come see her, allowing us into their home so we, at least, could stay warm and not disturb the bird.  She has continued at this location for the past two weeks and we hope she makes it!

There were also reports of possibly another Anna's in Marysville, eleven kilometers to the NWN and on the same day the Wycliffe bird was finally confirmed as Anna's.  Whether the same bird or not, we don't know but the Marysville bird has not shown again.  That bird was reported to our local naturalists' facebook group.

see: East Kootenay Anna's Hummingbird Photos: Macauley Library eBird

2) Northern Cardinal - Cranbrook, BC

AND THEN! on the same day the Anna's was recorded, a Northern Cardinal showed up at a feeder in Cranbrook.  Wow.  Thank you to fairly new eBirder Katrin P. for picking that bird out from the dozens of House Finches!  Good eye!

This bird, if accepted by the Rare Bird Committee, which appears likely, is, at present, the first documented record of Northern Cardinal in British Columbia.

The bird continues.  Perhaps we will get it on the Christmas Bird Count 27 December 2017.

More about that on the BC Rare Bird blog here

see: East Kootenay Northern Cardinal Photos: Macauley Library eBird

Just keep birding! Just keep birding!