[Ontbirds] Niagara River - Kittiwake, Purple Sandpipers, Dunlin, Harlequin Duck, 3 Falcons
Willie D'Anna and Betsy Potter
dannapotter at roadrunner.com
Sat Jan 19 20:10:14 EST 2013
Kim Hartquist and Steve Daniel met Betsy and me for a successful day of
birding the river. The number of gulls was incredible. At the Adam Beck
overlook (power plants), we had:
15-20 Iceland Gulls
2-3 Glaucous Gulls
2-3 Thayer's Gulls
1 adult Herring X Glaucous Gull
1 adult hybrid gull - probably Herring X Great Black-backed (large size,
white head, slightly paler than a Lesser Black-backed Gull)
1 juvenile BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE
1 adult Peregrine Falcon stooping on a flock of waxwings (no success) and
also chasing a pigeon.
1 Turkey Vulture
In lower Queenston, we had 3 LITTLE GULLS among thousands of Bonaparte's
Gulls (from the boat ramp).
Above Niagara Falls, there were
2-3 Glaucous Gulls
3-4 Iceland Gulls
4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
1 adult hybrid gull - probably Herring X Lesser Black-backed - on the
breakwall below the control gates.
4 PURPLE SANDPIPERS - on their favorite rock upriver from the barge and
about 100 yards from shore.
1 DUNLIN - upriver from the barge and out toward the middle where there is a
tiny island with two scrawny trees.
1 female HARLEQUIN DUCK - near the tiny island with two scrawny trees (this
is where there were four last winter). This bird can be very difficult to
We also had a MERLIN perched at the top of a tree a little north of the
Whirlpool Rapids bridge. Toward the end of the day, Betsy and I were
driving by here again and saw what we assumed would be the same bird in the
exact same spot. However, it turned out to be an AMERICAN KESTREL, perhaps
the rarest of the three falcons along the river during winter!
2013 Big Year: http://www.betsypottersart.com/willie-s-photos/2013-big-year
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