Friday, November 13, 2015

Mediocre Lakewatching at Fort Erie - 12 Nov 2015

With a gale warning in effect (45kt SW) and predicted waves up to 5m, Fort Erie was the place to be (for me). I arrived at 8am, and was entertained enough to stay in the exact same spot over 8 hours. This time I actually brought food though, which was good because it was boring as heck at times; so I entertained myself by eating... I was joined at various times by Josh Vandermeulen and Dan Riley.

The wind was strong all day, but didn't really kick it into overdrive until a trough passed overhead around 1pm. Winds gusted to nearly 50kt, and Bonaparte's Gulls finally started pushing in off Lake Erie - but there was precious little mixed in with them. Perhaps my biggest highlight was watching  the water levels rise and drop and rise again. Things were actually starting to look pretty hairy around Fort Erie and Buffalo by dusk, as several roads appeared to be closed.

Below is a screenshot of the buoy from offshore:

The "morning flight" of birds was not aided whatsoever by interesting weather, so I ended up watching the standard fare of gulls, ducks and cormorants wander in and out of the river - as well as a few feeding frenzies. Things started getting tossed around by 1pm (as noted) but there was a lack of unusual things about to keep one entertained as they were pushed in off the lake.

The list! -

Canada Goose  25
Gadwall  20
American Black Duck  25
Mallard  15
Northern Pintail  3
Redhead  6
Greater Scaup  30
Lesser Scaup  3
Surf Scoter  15
White-winged Scoter  20
Black Scoter  4
Long-tailed Duck  600
Bufflehead  2000
Common Goldeneye  85
Common Merganser  20
Red-breasted Merganser  225
Red-throated Loon  3
Common Loon  10
Horned Grebe  40
Red-necked Grebe  1
Double-crested Cormorant  400  
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Parasitic Jaeger  1  
Bonaparte's Gull  2000
Little Gull  6  
Ring-billed Gull  120
Herring Gull  25
Great Black-backed Gull  4
Peregrine Falcon  2  
American Crow  2
Black-capped Chickadee  3
Golden-crowned Kinglet  6
European Starling  20
House Sparrow  5

The skinny:

Lotsa Bufflehead
3 Red-throated Loons
1 Red-necked Grebe
1 Leucistic Milky/White Double-crested Cormorant
1 juv Parasitic Jaeger
6 adult Little Gulls
2 Peregrine Falcons

White one just right of centre

Buff City. 

Check out my ebird checklist for more commentary on numbers etc:

Still a fun day to be out there! Although I do  have a strong "went the wrong day" feeling as the winds continue....

Wall was damaged in ~5 places along the shoreline 

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