[Ontbirds] OFO Niagara Gull Trip

Jean Iron jeaniron at sympatico.ca
Sun Dec 4 20:58:13 EST 2011

Eleven species of gulls were seen by about 75 birders on today's annual OFO
field trip to the Niagara River. The outing was a great success in fine
balmy weather and ideal viewing conditions. 

1. Franklin's Gull: one first winter bird on the Roosting Rocks between Adam
Beck and the Butterfly Conservatory and seen early and late afternoon flying
in its usual right corner near the Robert Moses Dam at Adam Beck.

2. Little Gull: 1 adult at the Queenston boat Launch and 2 out of 3 that
flew to Lake Ontario at the fly-past at Niagara-on-the-Lake.

3. Bonaparte's Gull: abundant.

4. Ring-billed Gull: common.

5. Herring Gull: abundant.

6. Thayer's Gull: 2 adults at Adam Beck Overlook.

7. "Kumlien's" Iceland Gull: 2 or 3 adults at Adam Beck overlook.

8. Lesser Black-backed Gull: 1 first winter at Adam Beck, and several adults
at Chippawa and Goat Island across the river.

9. Glaucous Gull: 1 first winter in the middle of the river at Chippawa.

10. Great Black-backed Gull: many.

11. Black-legged Kittiwake: one first winter flying with Bonaparte's at the

*Candidate Slaty-backed Gull: a very distant bird on the American side near
Gull Island. However because of distance we could not see bright pink legs
and string-of-pearls to confirm a Slaty-backed.

*Possible hybrid gull: sleeping on the wall at Chippawa that had a darker
mantle than Herring Gull and much head streaking. We were hoping for
California Gull, but when it woke up it had pink legs and pale eyes.


Juvenile Pomarine Jaeger seen all day at Adam Beck.

3 female Harlequin Ducks on the wall at Chippawa.

1 Purple Sandpiper on its usual rock right of the barge above the Falls.

2 Peregrine Falcons on the American side behind the barge.

3-5 Black Vultures seen at the overlook on the Niagara Parkway below Brock
Monument and several seen at Adam Beck.

Hooded Mergansers at Dufferin Islands reservoir. Tufted Titmouse, Carolina
Wren and Red-bellied Woodpecker at feeders in Chippawa were seen by some of
the group.

There were no reports of the Razorbill at Niagara-on-the-Lake.


We thank the many people who attended the trip and hope that you had an
excellent day.

Jean Iron and Ron Tozer
OFO Field Trip Leaders

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