Saturday, December 16, 2017

Rock Glen Falls to Sarnia Bay

Today I headed up to Arkona for the first Canadian Br  Christmas Bird Count (CBC).  Road were bad on the way due to WAY too much snow, but that was the trend all week as the weather forecasts for amounts were WAY  off.  It actually snowed all morning (was not supposed to!) making conditions less than ideal.
Rock Glen and Arkona village is always my area and I started at the CA before 08:30.  This spot is well-known for fossils.

A number of birds greeted me at the parking area, including a Song Sparrow (any sparrow other than American Tree, is good on this count!).

I headed past the falls, then down the stairs to the river valley.

frozen falls

I often get a number of birds in the valley, but it was slim pickings all over today.  I did  find a group of birds farther along, but nothing too noteworthy.  A couple of Golden-crowned Kinglets were mixed in and I heard a flicker.  I used to go quite a ways downriver, but have not done that in several years.

old dam along river

Although it was uphill to get out of the valley, it was downhill for birds from there.  There was hardly anything throughout the CA and I did too much walking in deep snow for no birds.
Looking out over the field to the north, there was nothing to see.  In the past I have seen hawks, shrikes and Golden Eagles, but not a single bird today.
Back at the parking lot, there was one small highlight in the form of a Winter Wren.  There seems to be one here almost every year so it was no surprise.

A check of Arkona village was a birdless adventure, save for a Sharp-shinned Hawk and some Horned Larks south of the village.
I was done by 11:00, so turned in my list and headed towards Sarnia.
I wanted to check out the gulls in Sarnia Bay.

There were oodles of them!  They came in this week with the weather.

Herring Gulls were impossible to count, but numbered over 1500.  There were almost 100 Great Black-backed Gulls, an Iceland, and Glaucous (7) Gulls.  A Lesser Black-backed was among them. I probably would have seen more things, but I did not stay too long.  We are certainly due for an Ivory Gull in these parts!

dirty Glaucous in mid photo

No special ducks were seen, but I did not get out a scope.

A Double-crested Cormorant was on the dock in the marina.  There always seems to be at least one here each winter.

Sunday I will be at Rondeau with Quinten to turn up some good birds. (I hope!)

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