Saturday, January 14, 2017

River Run II

It was a toss-up as to where to go today, but I headed upriver.  It was a good choice as conditions for viewing birds along the river was perfect.  There was no wind (for a change!) making the waters calm, and it was overcast which always seems better for viewing things on the river.  Not the best day for photography, but viewing was excellent in any case.

Sombra Mallards

At Port Lambton, I noticed a large number of gulls, including at least two Glaucous.  In fact, there were hundreds of gulls all along up to Cathcart Park north of Sombra.

At Sombra, there were rafts of ducks to look through, but most were Redhead of course.  I did note some Ring-necked among them.  Canvasback finally arrived in numbers on the river late this week as well.  I did not have the patience to scope through all of them!

A group of Tundra Swans was at the foot of Fawn Island, but there did not seem to be as many Mute Swans as usual.
At least one White-winged Scoter was in my view at Sombra, but others were reported.



Farther upriver, I saw the wintering Common Loon just south of Seager Park.  It is always nice to see one on the river in January.  There is usually one around.

A Red-throated would be better. Many years ago I did find one, coincidentally, at Seager Park!

Redhead rafts were all along the river, but I did not see much variety.  Some Greater Scaup were mixed in.

At Mooretown, a Double-crested Cormorant was swimming in the river.  Perhaps it is the one that hangs out at Shell, Corunna.  It was quite distant when I first saw it, but while looking at other things, it flew right in front of me at point blank range.  The camera was not ready!

There were not a lot of gulls off Guthrie Park this morning, but there was a good number of Common Goldeneye and Bufflehead north of Stag Island.

At Sarnia Bay, there was a good number and variety of gulls and ducks.  They all got up three times when I was there, so it was constantly changing.  Each time there was a different mix.  There were at least four species of gulls here plus a hybrid.
A splendid Great Black-backed X Herring adult came in at the last minute.  Some call it a "Great Lakes Gull".

A few Ring-billed Gulls, uncommon in winter on the river, were on the ice.

At the mouth of Lake Huron, Long-tailed Ducks were the dominant species (besides distant Redhead) numbering several hundred.  White-winged Scoters were out there as well.

Distant raft of Redhead!

The Snow Goose was still at Blackwell Trails Park.  It and the other geese must have had a hard week again as they were sleeping just like last week!

Mallard X Black hybrid

After picking up some sunflower seed in town, I headed south and tried again for the Northern Shrike on Ladysmith Line.  Any other time I have been here (including last winter), I never saw a shrike, but today luck was with me.

I headed back out to the river at Courtright and looked at some more ducks and gulls.  Nothing different this time.  The loon was still in place near Seager Park.

Near Wallaceburg, about 50 Tundra Swans were in a corn field which seemed odd for the time of year.  Checking other eBird lists, quite a few were around today in the SW part of the province.

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