[Ontbirds]More Niagara birds- 9 spp. of gull incl. 11 Littles

Doug McRae rdmcrae at sympatico.ca
Sun Feb 3 23:30:58 EST 2008

Hi all,

Today (3 Feb. 2008), Bill Gilmour, Mark Ansell, Don Shanahan and I  
birded the Niagara River from the control structure to Niagara on the  
Lake.  While we failed to find the Ross' Gull (we had lots of good  
company in that department), we still had a pretty good day with 9  
spp. of gull, plus two likely hybrids.  Highlights include:

1 female Harlequin Duck - swimming 300-400m out from the control  
structure, about 1 km upriver from the Engineering Building.
15+ Great Blue Heron - all at Queenston
11 adult Little Gull - we saw one at the Whirlpool, 3-4 at Queenston,  
then had 11 different birds go by the Marina at Niagara on the Lake  
from about 1615-1745h.  I wonder if this might constitute an all-time  
high for Feb. in Ontario?
2 Thayer's Gull - 1 ad. and 1 1st year at Adam Beck
15+ Iceland Gull - 3 above the falls, most of the rest were at Adam Beck
4 Lesser Black-backed - 3 above the falls, one at Queenston
2 ad. Glaucous - Adam Beck
1 Belted Kingfisher - NOTL

WE also saw two gulls that we think were hybrids.

One was a first year bird at Adam Beck that was most likely a  
"Nelson's" Gull (HerringxGlaucous).

The other may be the bird referred to last week which appears to be  
midway between a Herring and a Lesser Black-backed.  It was on the  
rocks off from the Engineering Building and was seen by us from  
0900-1000.  It is an adult, has a fair bit of head streaking, pinkish/ 
flesh legs, a yellow iris, bill is bright yellow with strong red spot  
on lower mandible, overall shape and wing length is like Herring,  
back colour is about mid-way between Herring and LBB - maybe a shade  
or two darker than an adult Mew Gull (N. Am. subspp.).  Quite an  
interesting bird!


Doug McRae

Doug McRae Nature Services
P.O. Box 3010
Brighton, Ontario
Canada K0K 1H0
rdmcrae at sympatico.ca

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