Friday, December 7, 2012

Decemmer 1-3, 2012 Birding the Niagara River.

Definitely one of the highlights on our 3 day Niagara River tour was the probably the "Greenland" Iceland Gull. See earlier post. The overall gull numbers were excellent along the river and there were at least 10 species plus a couple of hybrids. We did a flyby count at dusk at NOTL both on Dec.1st (5300+) and on Dec.2nd (550+). The totals were low compared to the number of 1000's  of Bonaparte's Gulls on the Niagara River. They may have heading towards Fort Erie  at dusk instead! One of the rarest birds was a male Black-throated blue Warbler found above the falls immediately behind the old “Gate House” building found by Rick Thornton on December 2nd.  This is the latest record for the Niagara region based on the book, "Niagara Birds" by John Black and Kayo Roy.  I was fortunate to get one photo to document this occurrence.  For the second consecutive year there were at least 3 Black Vultures roosting on the American side of the river near Queenston along with a small group of Turkey Vultures. Other birds of note included 3 Tufted Titmice at Dufferin Park, 5 Eastern Bluebirds near Sir Adam Beck, 2 Carolina and 2 Winter Wren also at Dufferin Park, and a few Red-bellied Woodpecker. Overall an excellent trip! Our final sighting of the day was a family group of beavers feeding in a pond along Hwy.7 towards dusk.
Good birding, Bruce
Our last sighting of the day on December 3rd was a family group of Beavers along Hwy.7 near Kaladar.

A Tufted Titmouse at Dufferin Park

A Winter Wren was very active searching for food.

Normally a skulker this Winter Wren gave us excellent views.

A very tame Tufted Titmouse was a surprise. Normally we search around Chippawa and Niagara on the Lake for them.

A very late Black-throated Blue Warbler was searching for food low in the shrubbery above the falls.

A small flock of Eastern Bluebirds were observed near Sir Adam Beck Generating Station.

A male White-winged Scoter

A view of the Niagara River from Queenston.  

Above the falls 100's of Bonaparte's Gull were feeding and resting.

With low water levels 100's of gulls were resting on the exposed rocks above the falls.

The barge area is a popular location to look for Purple Sandpipers. Unfortunately none were found on the weekend.

Female Long-tailed Duck

No comments: