Cassidy’s most avid birder, Robert Hay keeping an eye out for birds at Transfer Beach Park. (Submitted photo)

Cassidy’s most avid birder, Robert Hay keeping an eye out for birds at Transfer Beach Park. (Submitted photo)

Good turnout for Christmas bird count

Preliminary data totaled 84 species on the count day, and a rare yellow-billed loon was counted

By Robert Hay

We had a great day for birding on Sunday 20 December 2020, holding our first Christmas Bird Count based in Ladysmith.

For a new count, we were still able to have 34 adults participate, of which half were solely bird feeder watchers on their own properties.

RELATED: Volunteers needed for Ladysmith/Chemainus Christmas bird count

The weather was cooperative, with light southerly winds and a high of 10 C — the sun even came out at times!

As our 15 mile count circle goes from the Chemainus River estuary to Nanaimo Airport and from inland hills to Thetis Island, the area provides habitats for a diversity of bird life.

Our preliminary data totaled 84 species on the count day, with another rare species seen during the count week, a

yellow-billed loon.

Highlights on count day were: cackling goose (9), black duck (6), Virginia rail (1), northern harrier (1), ring-billed gull (1), great horned owl (1 heard), barred owl (1), American kestrel (2) and northern shrike (1). High numbers for some notable species were: Canada goose (405), trumpeter swan (80), mallard (1012), Anna’s hummingbird (169), bald eagle (53), starling (834), American robin (257), pine siskin (793) and dark-eyed junco (1010).

I wish to thank the birders involved for their diligence. I hope that we have even greater participation next year!