Sunday, January 27, 2013

St. Clair River Gulling and Ducking

Today I accomplished what I originally set out to do yesterday!  That is check out the big river from Port Lambton to Sarnia.
Seems there are fewer gulls today than Friday, but still enough to sort through.  It was a nice day with the sun shining, at least in the morning.
The ice is packed tight off Port Lambton but it opens up just north of the village where I saw three Bald Eagles to start with.
It is interesting to stop at various points and watch the gulls ride ice floes downriver.  They are quite often in bunches.
Busiest spot for gulls was off LGS on my return trip.  There I met Allen Woodliffe and we had hundreds of gulls to look at.  At one point a specific gull caught my attention.  It was as large as a Glaucous, but had dark gray primary tips.  Well, Glaucous-winged ran through my mind, but obviously it had to be the hybrid "Nelson's Gull", or at least I assume.  A very nice adult bird!

The head of Stag Island was interesting with lots of gulls and especially ducks.  There was a large raft of Redhead with others mixed in.  A large number of Common Goldeneye was there as well.  A few Canvasback are finally on river now.  They were distant, but lighting was excellent and I managed to scope most of the birds.  Nothing rare, although I did spot an adult Herring X Great Black-backed.

Redheads in flight!

In Sarnia Harbour which is mostly frozen, I finally managed to find that wintering Green-winged Teal.  It was napping with all the Mallards, but there it was.

Many have asked about that Harlequin Duck, but it was only seen that one day.  I am certain it still has to be out there somewhere....

Red-breasted Merg

Hooded Merg from behind!

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