Saturday 24 November 2012

Niagara birding

Joined the Kitchener-Waterloo Field Naturalists today for their annual gull trip to Niagara.

We stopped along the way to do some birding in Hamilton where we saw the immature King Eider among the masses of diving ducks.
Further down the lake at Niagara-on-the-Lake a Red-throated Loon gave uncharacteristically good looks.
This photo certainly doesn't do it justice - but you can see the relatively small and upturned bill which makes the identification much easier:

Further upstream there were thousands of gulls, this Franklin's Gull has been hanging around for a few weeks and may be the same bird that frequented the same area last winter:
Note the darkish mantle, and dark hood! 

Above the falls this Belted Kingfisher was acting unusually tame for the species. This is probably the best photo I have of a Belted Kingfisher!
The bird appears to be a male (due to the lack of rufous on the belly) - however, it does have a bit of rufous spotting in the breast band, which may indicate that it is a young bird. The fact that it was relatively tame may also be evidence that it is a 1st year bird.

Mira asked me to take a picture of this Bufflehead:

An adult Lesser Black-backed Gull was very close-by allowing a great photo opportunity:

All in all, we had about 55 species of birds today, 9 of which were gulls!
The next few weeks I'll be trying to focus on studying, after which I'll be in Newfoundland for a while :)