Wednesday 31 January 2018

Tuesday Tuft and Other Stuff

Yesterday my Dad and I went to the Burlington/Hamilton area in search of waterfowl, namely the rare waterfowl that had been seen in the area recently.

I noticed a couple interesting birds on the way to Hamilton, including a Common Raven (uncommon this far south) and my first Turkey Vulture of the year! The vulture caught me off guard, but it is no doubt one of the ones that overwinter in the Hamilton area.

We first visited Spencer Smith Park, where a Ross's Goose had been found the day before. Within 30 seconds, I had found this tiny white goose snoozing with some Mallards.

Eventually the goose got up, walked around a little bit, then went back to sleep.

Next stop was the lift bridge and canal on the Hamilton/Halton county border. I found the resident Peregrine Falcons right away.

There were also a number of ducks such as scaup, Long-tailed Ducks, White-winged Scoters, and Common Goldeneyes present in the canal.

White-winged Scoter

I walked to where the canal opens up into the bay and decided to do a little bit of scoping to see what was out there. Within five minutes of looking, a scaup caught my eye. When the scaup turned broadside I realized that it was no was a TUFTED DUCK.

Needless to say, I sort of lost my mind because I wasn't expecting to see the Tufted, as it it hadn't been reported since Saturday. I called my friend Owen right away to get the word out. After I got Owen and my other friend Ethan (who has a blog by the way) to post the sighting, I went back to my scope and tried to find it again....turns out ducks can swim.

After all that excitement I realized something...I didn't photograph the bird. Dang it!

Next, I went over to the Halton side of the canal in search of the female Harlequin Duck that has been hanging around. I found a few other things such as more scoters and a Mute Swan along the way.

Mute Swan

It wasn't long before I found the Harlequin Duck beside the pier. I hadn't seen a Harlequin since 2016, so this was a treat!

I stopped in quickly to Windermere basin just to scope out the ducks there. There were plenty of Mallards, along with lesser numbers of Bufflehead, Green-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Bufflehead, Gadwall, and Ruddy Duck.

flyover Gadwall

Northern Shoveler

Plenty of Double-crested Cormorants were also around.

Green Road was the last stop, and I was in search of King Eiders. I found a female shortly after being there, later ending up with two females and two first winter males. All the ducks were very far away, so this is my best pic (highly cropped).

All three species of scoters were also present, including my first ever adult male Black Scoter.

Surf Scoter

It's not often I see all my target species, and then some! A very good day, and I can't wait until I get back out!


  1. What a fantastic outing, Quinten! Glad that you finally got to see the Tufted Duck...and all your other targeted species. 😀

  2. You saw a lot of great stuff, Quinten!