Monday, December 5, 2011

December 2-4, 2011 Niagara River Birding

It was an amazing 3 days birding along the Niagara River! With 12 species of gulls including Slaty-backed, Franklin's, Little and Black-legged Kittiwake, Harlequin Ducks, Black Vultures, Razorbill, Pomarine and Parasitic Jaeger plus Tufted Titmouse, Red-bellied Woodpecker, and Carolina Wren it was truely exciting. Forgot, female King Eider at the end of Fruitland Road. The weather was great, no rain and the temperature ranged from +0c to +12c. The fly-by at Niagara-on-the-Lake produced 5,500+ Bonaparte's Gull and 1 Franklin's Gull on December 2nd and on December 3rd, 3,500+ Bonaparte's Gull, 3 Little Gull and 1 Franklin's Gull. Likely the same Franklin's Gull that has been hanging around Sir Adam Beck. Overall this was an exceptional trip.

Three female Harlequin Ducks resting on the break wall below the Control Gates on December 4th. 
Tufted Titmouse were present at Chippawa and Dufferin Island .
Juvenile  Pomarine Jaeger at Sir Adam Beck. 

The  juvenile Pomarine  Jaeger spent lots of time harassing gulls.
On December 3rd only 2 female Harlequin ducks were present.
The first winter Franklin's Gull  was seen at Sir Adam Beck and at NOTL at the fly-by
A first winter Black-legged Kittiwake at the Whirlpool.  Most records of kittiwake along the Niagara River are first winter birds.

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