Sunday, February 5, 2017

Upriver Ducks (and gulls) 2017

Today was a decent day along the St. Clair River.  Viewing conditions were good and some areas had lots of activity.  The hotspot was at the head of Stag Island and the area near the Shell Refinery at Corunna.

A large number of Canada Geese were at Cathcart Park, but I did not see anything of note.  There could have been some Cackling Geese, but the sheer number of geese made things difficult.

I went up to Guthrie Park at Corunna where most of the ducks and gulls on the river were congregated.  There was a large number of Common Goldeneye as well as Bufflehead.

This curiosity was in close off Guthrie Park.

I went farther up as I waited for the Lambton Wildlife field trip to arrive downriver from Sarnia.  The first weekend in February is the annual Downriver Ducks trip for LWI.  It is the most popular outing for the group each year that attracts many people.  There were perhaps 35 people in the group ably led by "Uncle Paul".

Off the First Nation's territory, there was an insane number of gulls riding the ice floes.  Around 09:00, probably over 1000 gulls were present.  Most were Herring of course, and I think many of these headed back upriver even though there were still lots off Guthrie Park later. No doubt many more were along the Chemical Valley where we cannot see.

I went back to Guthrie Park just before the group arrived.  While there, I picked out 3 Iceland Gulls and a couple of Glaucous.

An adult Lesser Black-backed Gull was also seen in mid-river.

In the "cove" at the head of Stag Island there was a mass of ducks, mostly Redhead.  At one point they all got up.  It was a cloud of ducks!  There were probably over 5000.

Sameul Risley stirring things up!

Portion of the Cloud!

Long-tailed Ducks were in good numbers today, with several hundred.  A large number were also off Courtright.

Later, I cut inland and stopped by Moore WMA.  It was dead again!  Where are the birds??  This is usually a hotspot during winter.  While there, a mink scurried by the crossing.

Moore Mink

Later this afternoon, a Trumpeter Swan was noted on the Chenal Ecarte (Snye).

It must have just shown up as I go by that spot twice a day during the week!  In fact, there was quite a number of Mallards there today as well.  Also a drake Northern Pintail, Ring-necked Duck and a few Hooded Mergansers.
Two swans were sleeping and facing away from me.  Perhaps these were also Trumpeter, which Sean Jenniskens listed today.
These were at the usual spot on Walpole Island which always attracts lots of things.

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