Saturday 27 January 2018

Some Sarnia Stuff

Today was the annual Nature London outing to the Sarnia and St. Clair region. I would say today's outing has been of my better days birding in the area!

We started off the day with a nice male Snowy Owl just outside of London.

It was fairly quiet on the drive to Sarnia, however we picked up Snow Bunting (my first of 2018...finally!), Brown-headed Cowbird, Horned Lark,  and Northern Harrier. Closer to Sarnia we checked out a creek along the road, which revealed Mallards, Common Mergansers, Northern Pintail, American Black Ducks, and a Gadwall.

Next stop, Wawanosh Wetlands! Just before leaving the car, I glanced at my camera. I decided against bringing it because I reasoned we wouldn't come across anything worth photographing. About five minutes later I regretted that decision...

We were happily looking at Canada Geese and Herring Gulls when I heard a high-pitched honk. I looked up, and saw a large flock of geese flying 50 feet overhead. It took me a moment to realize that I was looking at GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE!

The group was treated to great views of the geese, although they were gone almost as fast as they had arrived. I texted Blake Mann about the sighting, and he was able to later track down the flock just north of Wawanosh. He also managed some photos!

Next stop was Canatara Park, where we promptly saw Tufted Titmouse, Red-bellied Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatch, and Black-capped Chickadee. There were also some goats.

I was playing around with some filters, and I thought this turned out good.

Onto to the beach! We found Greater Scaup, Redhead, Canvasbacks, Long-tailed Ducks, Bufflehead, and a White-winged Scoter.

Greater Scaup

White-winged Scoter

Common Goldeneye

Further down we got on a distant eagle, which turned out to be a Golden Eagle!

Golden Eagle

We headed to the marina, where we managed to see tons of gulls, including Great-black Backed, Glaucous, Iceland, Herring, and Ring-billed.

Plenty of ducks were out on the bay as well, including Common Mergansers, Redhead, Canvasback, scaup, Ring-necked Duck, Common Goldeneye, American Black Duck, and Bufflehead.

American Black Duck

This male Wood Duck has been hanging around for a while. I heard it long before I saw it!

We drove down the St. Clair towards Sombra, stopping along the way whenever we saw something interesting. Redheads numbered in the thousands, and Canvasbacks and Long-tailed Ducks could also be found in the hundreds. We found a few other ducks in smaller numbers such as Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Red-breasted Merganser, and Common Goldeneye.


Common Merganser


Mute Swan

Long-tailed Duck and Common Goldeneye

On the way back home, we saw a few raptors such as Red-tailed Hawks and Rough-legged Hawks. We also happened across five Snowy Owls within 10 minutes!

I'm off for exams this week...I'm sure I'll be out again soon!


  1. That was really strange that I received your text just as I was passing Wawanosh! Interesting that I never saw the flock as I came along Michigan Line. At least I knew where to find them!

  2. What a strange coincidence! Glad you got to see them in the end!