Monday, December 10, 2012

Niagara River Birding – Dec 8, 2012

2nd winter Kumlien's above the falls 

Made it to the river for the first time since October – part of a beer and gulls tour.... Teamed up with Barb Wire, Josh V, Ross Wood and Kentucky to see what we could find... The stops:

Queenston –rain... decent numbers of large gulls, but nothing of note...

Adam Beck – rain... decent numbers of small gulls, not as many big ones... Ross picked out a beauty of an adult LITTLE GULL, which I don’t think I’ve seen here very often in the past... 1 GBBG was new for the day (low numbers eh?)... A few Kumlien’s Iceland Gulls – including an adult or two that had very white (if not all white) wing tips... Another highlight here was 2 Nelson’s Gulls (Herring X Glauc hybrids)... One was probably a backcross Herring type (just a faded looking 2nd winter HEGU) but the other was a spectacular juvenile.. Really striking... Sort of intermediate between the two right down the line, but funky and awesome.. Make sense?? Ross also picked out a sweet adult Herring Gull that had a normal pattern to one wing, and no black in the primaries on the second wing (looked like someone stuck an adult Glaucous Gull wing onto the bird).. Really cool

But then it started raining more, so we took a break..

Above the falls – we had some ok numbers of Lesser Black-backed Gulls and Kumlien’s Gulls.. No bonies here... (ok one).. Also a 2nd winter Glaucous Gull... Josh picked out an “Iceland gull” with white wings as well (adult).. I think we actually had 3-4 birds like this today.. odd.. We were going to check below the falls but the fog rolled in... So we walked back and had some of my best looks ever at a Tufted Titmouse.. Wish I had the good camera for that one..

Whirlpool – nada.. fog..

Adam Beck time #2 – a new mix of gulls but the same old result. Actually I picked out an adult Thayer’s Gull (9th species of gull on the day) but the visibility wasn’t great.. So what was to be done? Leave for beer and pizza of course..

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