Sunday, March 23, 2014

River St. Clair Report March 23

Not wanting to do much today, I spent a little time along the St. Clair River this morning.  It was bitterly cold for this date anyway, so birding by car was in order.
There were far fewer ducks today, but most activity was at the head of Stag Island, north end of Corunna.

Starting things off, I looked at lots of Canada Geese at Fawn Island wondering if something different was among them.  Not to be!
At Cathcart Park there was little to look at, but the four Red-necked Grebes were fairly close.  It was a nice sight since these are rather rare for the river.  I managed to get the four in one record shot.

I suspect these may be the same ones from earlier in the month and have just hung around since there has been no incentive to head north.

I carefully checked the shoreline along the way thinking of Harlequin Duck.  I parked at Guthrie Park's south end as there was lots of activity off the head of Stag Island.  Long-tailed Ducks constituted the majority of the birds as they usually do there.

I scanned the distant ducks several times and something finally caught me eye.  A male Harlequin Duck!  It was quite distant and lighting was not good (the usual "weekend" weather!). It was preening then tucked its head back for a nap.  I lost it to sight for almost a half hour, then I picked it out again.  Lighting was better at that time.  Way too distant for a photo though.

Harlequin was just beyond those ice floes

Meanwhile, I looked more closely at the Canada Geese along the ice edge and picked out three small ones with stubby bills.  Undoubtedly Cackling Geese.  For some reason these are rather here on the river compared to some other spots.

A single adult Bald Eagle was playing around trying to steal fish from gulls.  At times it was perched in the big tree at the head of Stag Island, then when some Herring Gulls brought up a fish to an ice flow, the eagle would come over in an attempt to get the fish.  At one point it was very close and I finally got a decent photo of a Bald Eagle.

I went home via Holt Line and at the McKeough Dam, there was some open water (probably the only open spot of water on the whole river right now!) and some Wood Ducks were nice to see.  Six females and four males plus a male Hooded Merganser were there.

Woodies and Hoodie!

Well, here is another weekend in the bag.  Not sure if I will come up with any posting this coming week, but it is always fun doing so.  I appreciate the dozens of followers who faithfully check this blog daily and those who compliment me off the record about the content.  One of the purposes of the blog is to let people know what it is out there, especially during my outings.

Dawn at Port Lambton (Friday)
Algonac State Park in the background


  1. I for one look for a post every day. Helps me keep in touch with the way things are back in SW Ontario. Thanks and keep it up.

  2. That photo you took of the Bald Eagle in flight is absolutely stunning. Beautiful shot!

  3. That photo you took of the Bald Eagle in flight is absolutely stunning. Beautiful shot!

  4. Thanks for the comments! Things came together nicely for that eagle photo.....for a change!