Christmas Bird Count (Lakewood) December 30, 2011

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2011 Christmas Bird Count Results – Friday, December 30, 2011

Lakewood (west side of Cleveland) Count Circle

Compiler: Nancy Howell

                 19430 Fowles Rd.

                 Middleburg Hts. OH 44130-6253



The Lakewood (west side) Christmas Bird Count took place on Friday, December 30, 2011.  A Friday may have been an odd day for some but with the way the holidays fell the Friday seemed to be one of the better days to do the Count.  Sixty-seven (67) species were tallied that day and two were seen during the count week (italicized and bold below). This is about the average number of species so it was not the best of the Lakewood Christmas Counts or the worst. The effort by the 62 terrific participants, who spent 74.75 hours out in the field and 21.5 hours watching feeders, was rewarded.  Another 1.5 hours were spent owling either in the early morning or late in the day and produced zero, zippo, nada!!!


The weather was an oddity as well with the day was just too … uh, “nice”.  When one thinks of a Christmas Count one might think cold temperatures and at least a little snow, not this year. Temperatures were in the high 30’s to mid 40’s, mostly cloudy, the sun peeped out periodically and then there were periodic drizzles to light showers. All water; Lake Erie, ponds, rivers and streams were wide open. The birds knew that too so were not concentrated at feeders, or in openings of frozen water or really anywhere. Was this summer and fall’s exceedingly wet weather a factor in the lack of some species?  Fruits on trees and shrubs seemed low this year, might that be why the numbers of some species of fruit feeders to be on the low side?  Where were our local owls, turkey and some of the songbirds we regularly get? So many questions yet participants did locate a couple of great sightings.


Here is a rundown of the good … the bad … and the “ugly” of this year’s count. Some of more noteworthy species are in bold and count week (cw) are in bold italics. Below is the list of species and numbers.


 1.   Canada Goose                   1020
 2.   Wood Duck                  2
 3.   American Black Duck  12
 4.   Mallard             690
 5.   American Wigeon         1
 6.   Redhead  1
 7.   Greater Scaup   4
 8.   Bufflehead     35
 9.   Common Goldeneye     547
10.  Red-breasted Merganser  3701
11.  Hooded Merganser    1
12.  Common Loon   2
13.  Horned Grebe     1
14. Pied-billed Grebe (cw)  1
15.  Double-crested Cormorant  17
16.  Great Blue Heron    6
17.   Bald Eagle     2
18.   Cooper’s Hawk  12
19.   Red-shouldered Hawk   4
20.   Red-tailed Hawk      21
21.   Rough-legged Hawk      1
22.   American Kestrel        6
23.   Merlin        2
24.   Peregrine Falcon  2
25.   American Coot     5
26.   Bonaparte’s Gull  218
27.   Ring-billed Gull     3798
28.   Herring Gull           108
29.   Great black-backed Gull    1
30.   Rock Pigeon  702
31.   Mourning Dove 189
32.   Snowy Owl         1
33.   Eastern Screech Owl  2
34.   Belted Kingfisher         11
35.   Red-headed Woodpecker  1
36.   Red-bellied Woodpecker   65
37.   Downy Woodpecker 100
38.   Hairy Woodpecker      25
39.   Northern Flicker          2
40.   Pileated Woodpecker 5
41.   Blue Jay            179
42.   American Crow  45
43.   Black-capped Chickadee 280
44.   Tufted Titmouse         91
45.   Red-breasted Nuthatch 12
46.   White-breasted Nuthatch  129
47.   Carolina Wren       7
48.   Winter Wren          1
49.   Golden-crowned Kinglet  2
50.   Ruby-crowned Kinglet   2
51.   Eastern Bluebird       5
52.   American Robin        275
53.   Northern Mockingbird      3
54.   European Starling    2242
55.   Cedar Waxwing        6
56.   American Tree Sparrow   95
57.   Field Sparrow         1
58.   Song Sparrow         24
59.   Swamp Sparrow    2
60.   White-throated Sparrow 8
61.   White-crowned Sparrow 5
62.   Dark-eyed Junco                147
63.   Northern Cardinal             153
64.   Red-winged Blackbird   24
65.   Purple Finch (cw)   2
66.   House Finch      190
67.   Pine Siskin    2
68.   American Goldfinch  204
69.   House Sparrow       757


How the groups doing the Lake Erie shoreline do the magic they do is always a mystery. Lake Erie was wide open and as a result waterfowl and gulls were not concentrated at all. A few species of dabblers Wood Duck, Mallard, American Black Duck and American Wigeon were found primarily at inland sites. Big water ducks and divers were nearly non existent … ONE Redhead, ONE Hooded Merganser, FOUR Greater Scaup and even the Red-breasted Merganser numbers were some of the lowest noted, usually their numbers are in the double digit thousands. No special divers or other unusual waterfowl.


Common Loon and Horned Grebe were nice finds (thank goodness) on Lake Erie. Double-crested Cormorant is a species not always found, but they were here this CBC.  Gull numbers were p-a-t-h-e-t-i-c with only a couple thousand Ring-billed Gulls, way, way lower than the double-digit thousands of past Christmas Counts. ONE Great Black-backed Gull? That is absurd. No unusual species of gull were noted.


Diurnal raptors did better on our list with all 3 falcons species one expects to find in the area at this time of year. Cleveland Hopkins airport was a mini bonanza of raptors with many Red-tailed Hawks, several American Kestrels a single Rough-legged Hawk (nice) AND a single Snowy Owl (whoo-hoo).  Other owls were in short supply with Screech Owl being the only other owl. Where were you Great Horned and Barred Owls?? Despite some owling time none of the larger owls were found.


Woodpeckers made appearances throughout the area and a single Red-headed Woodpecker is nice. With the milder weather one would think that Northern Flicker would be easier to find but numbers were low.


Most of the remainder of the perching and or songbird numbers were lower than most years. Even feeder birds were not as abundant possibly not stressed due to the milder weather. Red-breasted Nuthatch were tallied and it was not a huge year for them so that was a nice find as were the single Winter Wren, a couple of Golden-crowned Kinglets and two Ruby-crowned Kinglets!


A lack of persistent fruits on trees and shrubs seemed to decrease the number of fruit eaters that are normally found, such as Eastern Bluebird, American Robin and Cedar Waxwing.  Not a single warbler of any species was noted.  One of the few species whose numbers were up were European Starlings (ugh).


Sparrows didn’t do too badly but we did miss any Eastern Towhee that might have been around. A single Field Sparrow was a good addition as were the two Swamp Sparrows which we sometimes do not get, and the five White-crowned Sparrows. Some of the wetlands in our count circle have been opened up with trails making it a bit easier to find blackbirds. Red-winged Blackbirds did not disappoint us but we did miss Common Grackle and Brown-headed Cowbird. Again with the relatively mild winter thus far one would have thought more blackbird sightings would have been reported but this was not the case. Lastly, two Pine Siskins were a nice addition to the list and a couple of Purple Finch were noted during count week. 


A WELL DESERVED thank you to all who participated in the 2011 Christmas Bird Count.  Whether you went a field or stayed in the comfort of your home and watched your feeders.  All tallies are appreciated and have been added.  Here are the 62 participants:


Jay Abercrombie, Nidia Arguedas, Linda Arida, Ken and Lois Ballas, Mary Bartos,  Dennis and Kit Birch, Sarah Boumphrey, Kathleen Bradley, Nancy Brewer, Erik Bruder, Diane Busch, June Cangey, Lee Cavano, Liz Clingman, Bill Deininger, Dave Dvorak, Maria and Rick Finchum, Bob Finkelstein, Jerry Friedman, Sandy Gleason, Joanne and Terry Gorges, Sharon Hanse, Jim Heflich, Terry Hogan, Nancy Howell, Mary Lou Hura, Karen and Rich Kassouf, Claire Kluskens, Claire Kovacs, JoAnn Kubicki,  Ray Kutnar, Paula Lozano, Mary Jo Marshall, Terri Martincic, Liz McQuaid, Aaron Milenski, Marianne Nolan, Penny O’Connor, Michael Pacek, Lukas Padegimas, Earl and Martha Peck, Chris Pierce, Robert Reynard, Mary Anne and Tom Romito, Suzanne Sawyer, Andrea and Robert Segedi, Paul Sherwood, Chuck Slusarczyk, Jr., Jessie St. Christopher, Page Stephens, Helen Taft, Kathleen Tiburzi, Courtney Treadwell and Bev Walborn.

CBC counters
Christmas bird counters, Ray & Dave © Penny O'Connor

Goldfinches at Lake Abrams © Chuck Slusarczyk Jr.

White-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch at Lake Abrams © Chuck Slusarczyk Jr.

American Tree Sparrow
American Tree Sparrow at Lake Abrams © Chuck Slusarczyk Jr.

Black Squirrel
Gray Squirrel (black variation) at Lake Abrams © Chuck Slusarczyk Jr.

Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl at Hopkins © Chuck Slusarczyk Jr.

CBC Zoo counters
CBC counters at Zoo © Mary Anne Romito

Ostrich at Zoo
The mild weather brought out birds we usually don't see on the CBC count. This Ostrich was not countable but fun to see.©Mary Anne Romito

Tiger at Zoo
The Tiger was posing too. © Mary Anne Romito

Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society, 4310 Bush Ave, Cleveland, OH 44109