Sunday 26 January 2020

Notes from the St. Clair

Hello. Does this thing still work?

Yesterday I birded Sarnia and along the St. Clair river, with the intention of seeing what was around. I didn't take any photos (save for one bird), so I will recycle some old ones.

The day started off not so nice, with rain and quite heavy fog. Not too much of note along the way, but we did have a Snowy Owl in the usual location, as well as a Rough-legged Hawk. The roughie was in the same spot as the one we had last year, and looked to have the same patterning, so it could be the same bird as pictured below (from 2019).

We toured around Point Edward a bit, looking at the lake at a few different locations. Not too much to be seen. The usual Long-tailed Ducks, which always seem to be flying around, never settling. Had a few White-winged Scoters to shake things up as well. 

Quite the contrast to last year at this time. The only ice to be seen was on the rocks.

NOT like this (2019)
Off of Canatara Park, there was a sizable raft of Redhead, I estimated numbering around 1800. They were on the American side, but whatever...Also seen was a Great Black-backed sitting a distance out with an adult Glaucous Gull right beside it. Perhaps two of my favourite wintertime gulls.

There were more birds in the marina and Sarnia Bay than I expected, but nothing too much out of the ordinary. A few Great Black-backs and an adult Glaucous were among the Herring Gulls. I did see a Long-tailed Duck, which I think might be the first time I have seen one in the bay!

Heading downriver, we stopped a few times to sift through the gulls. There were easily a few thousand Herring Gulls present, as well as some more interesting things mixed in. Guthrie Park was good, as it always seems to be, and the gizzard shad die off attracted the gulls en masse. Along with about 2000 Herrings, I picked out a couple Iceland Gulls, some Glaucous, Great Black-backeds, and a Nelson's Gull, which is a hybrid between Herring and Glaucous Gull.

Great Black-backed Gull
At the OCF outflow down near Sombra, there were quite a few Great Black-backs, as well a some Glaucous and a pretty little first cycle Iceland Gull. A Belted Kingfisher also made an appearance. 

Final stop was the Sombra waterfront. As usual, lots of Redhead, but the star of the show was a Ring-necked Duck x Redhead hybrid, which has been coming back for a few years now. This is the first time I have seen this hybrid.

All in all a good day. Back to exams...

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see you were able to take a break from studies/exams, to make a post. And you had some good weather for your outing/photography, too.