[Ontbirds] Razorbill details - Niagara-on-the-lake

Josh Vandermeulen joshvandermeulen at live.ca
Thu Nov 10 19:26:52 EST 2011

Ontbirds subscribers,

After hearing the report of a Razorbill on the American side of the mouth of the Niagara River from 2 days ago, David Bell and I drove down to try for it. We spent some time at Queen's Royal Park, scoping the lake from the gazeebo. At 2:27 I picked up a dark alcid flying west from the American side to the Canadian side. I got Dave on it and we watched it continue to fly, at one point being fairly close to Fort Mississauga on the Canadian side. All field marks were consistent with adult basic Razorbill. After circling a few times, it eventually landed near the green buoy in the middle of the river, which we estimated at about 500-600 meters out. It dove several times and we lost the bird on one of the dives. At about 3:15 we left without the bird in sight. It is more than likely still around and if past records are any indication, it will probably stay for a while. 

Other birds of interest:
5+ Redthroated Loons
15+ Horned Grebes
1 dark morph Pomarine Jaeger harassing gulls. The Pom was still being seen when we left. 
1 Spotted Sandpiper (getting late!)

We also briefly tried for the Franklin's Gull before and after trying for the Razorbill. No luck with that but apparently it is still around. We did have a nice adult Little Gull from the Queenston Docks though.

Good birding, 
Josh Vandermeulen (joshvandermeulen.blogspot.com) and 
David Bell (ssmbirding.blogspot.com)

>From the QEW, travel east towards Niagara. Take the 38B Glendale/Regional Road 89 exit, and turn right on Taylor Road. Head west, parallel to the highway, until Taylor Road turns right and crosses the highway. At this point it is called Niagara Stone Road. Follow Niagara Stone Road into Niagara-on-the-lake. At this point, the road will now be known as Mississauga Street. Turn right on Queen St, and then the third left onto Victoria Street. Turn right onto Front Street and the Queen's Royal Park will be on the left. This spot has a pretty good view of the river mouth.

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