Anticipating the approach of a 'typical' weekend, I headed upriver late Friday afternoon as far a Corunna before it got too dark.
Canada Geese were the popular bird this day, as hundreds were all along the river. I stopped by Cath's Cart park where there were too many to sort through. I did pick out some small ones on the distant grass, but when they got up to fly, their higher-toned honks were obvious. There were at least three Cackling Geese flying away.
Lots of ducks were in the area as well.
On the way to Corunna, I slid over to Greenway Line where I came across a Northern Shrike. Just a few minutes earlier, I said to myself that it might be a good time for a shrike! Sure enough....
Off Guthrie Park, there was enough light to see the wintering wigeon.
Saturday morning, before too much snow came down, I headed to Sarnia. There was not a much to see as on the previous day. Little was at the Sombra dock and certainly nothing new.
I did see some Tundra Swans at Cathcart Park which I had missed the previous evening, but I could not pick out any small geese in the poor light. They were there somewhere.....
Not much was off Guthrie Park on Saturday.
I spent quite a bit of time at Sarnia Bay, where there was a variety of ducks and hundreds of gulls.
At least four Glaucous Gulls represented the white-winged variety, and there were lots of Great Black-backed.
At one point, I picked out two adult "Great Lakes" Gulls--hybrid of Herring and Great Black-backed. Too distant and poor visibility prevented any photo attempt.
|Note, duck on right is a hybrid|
Many geese were at the entrance to the government dock area, but I could not find anything different. The wintering Common Loon was taking a nap well offshore.
The north slip was mostly frozen, but some gulls were present. Perhaps I missed a Horned Grebe which was seen there today!
On the way home, I took back roads as all the snow was making things dicey. There were lots of Horned Larks, Snow Buntings, etc., and at one point I came across a nice flock of Lapland Longspurs. It was a pure flock of at least 30.
Today, travels were limited with the howling wind and bitter cold. Roads were dicey with the blowing snow, so my activities were curtailed. No doubt it will be nice when Monday dawns.
I had been wanting to check the mouth of the Thames River for some time, but things have completely frozen up now. At the Jeannette's Creek boat launch, one could see a thick mass of waterfowl downriver.
It was too distant to get much detail, but most were Mallards. I did pick out four Double-crested Cormorants which had been wintering in the area. Perhaps the Great Blue Herons had the common sense to leave, as I did not see any!
One has to wonder what all was in that mass.
A crazy number of Bald Eagles have been in the area this winter--I could see fifteen from this vantage point.
|I wonder what that Common Merganser was thinking?|
In the afternoon I watched the yard feeders, but nothing new showed up. Feeders have been virtually dead so far this winter. I am going to have lots of seed left at the end of the season I think!
I had three Red-breasted Nuthatches at one point earlier in the winter, but only saw one today. It was looking a little worse for the wear.