Christmas Bird Count 2015 (Ottawa) & Return back to BC

Hello from BC!  I returned back to BC early yesterday morning for the holiday break.  Before Tuesday, I participated in the Ottawa-Gatineau Christmas Bird Count on Sunday with mostly the same group of people as last year.  As you may already know, it has been a warm December in Ontario and the weather is completely different from the previous year.  Compared to last year, our section did not record as many species, although the region as a whole has received a record number of individuals, with more than two-thirds of the total count (about 25,000 individual birds) being American Crows and Canada Geese (read the news report here).  Unfortunately, I stupidly forgot to put my freshly-charged battery into my camera and was not able to take any photos of the birds we saw.  In the end, I only snapped two photos with my phone.

The starting point of our bird count early in the morning.

Birders watching birds in the suburbs!

This morning, my parents took me out to Burnaby for lunch. Before that, we stopped at John Hendry Park where my parents had been once before and thought I might enjoy seeing the wildlife there, and they were right!

Path around the lake.

Trout Lake.

Gulls and a cormorant.

I did not bring my binocular with me and so I was only able to identify the birds through my camera.

Male Northern Shovelers (Anas clypeata).  I miss seeing these strange-looking birds.

American Coot (Fulica americana)
American Coot (Fulica americana)

American Wigeons (Anas americana)
American Wigeons (Anas americana)

Reflection of a wigeon.

American Tree Sparrow (Spizella arborea)

Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)
Maybe a Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)?  I usually tell Cooper's from Sharpies based on the shape of the tail, but the tail feathers on this individual is not in great condition (i.e., the end of the tail was forked), so I am mostly guessing based on its relative large size.  Here is a pretty good resource to tell the two species apart.

Other bird species I saw today included: a hummingbird (maybe an Anna's?), a Great Blue Heron, and a Red-tailed Hawk.  Great bird-watching day, overall.

Have a happy holiday and enjoy the rest of 2015!

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