Sunday, January 14, 2018

More Guthrie Gulls and Ducks Too

It was another frigid morning.  I checked out Perch Creek WMA first thing, but there was virtually nothing to be found.  It was too cold for a long walk anyway.  There simply is not much in the way of 'landbirds' this winter in my usual haunts!  Perch Creek, east of Sarnia is often a great place for a winter walk and to look for birds.

I decided to head out to Guthrie Park at Corunna where there is much action.  On the way, I noticed a Snowy Owl perched on a post, as well as the usual Northern Shrike at Ladysmith Line.  Each winter there is a shrike here!

LaSalle Snowy

Ladysmith Shrike


Upon arrival at Guthrie, Mike Bouman already had the place staked out.  After he departed for warmer climes, I took over and watched for some time.  It seemed to be a better day with better conditions and more birds.



A couple of Iceland Gulls were milling about.  They have been scarce this winter, while Glaucous Gulls are plentiful. 



I counted around 20 Glaucous Gulls during my stay.



Lots of Herring, a few Great Black-backed and a Lesser Black-backed were tallied.



There was no sign of any rare ducks, but a local Black X Mallard hybrid made a pass with its partner.



Other ducks made some passes.



While others were napping.



It was interesting to sit and watch the activity, as it was constantly changing.



Farther downriver, I encountered two Great Blue Herons at the OCF outflow.  They were FOY and seemed a bit out of place this winter.  I was not able to get photos though.

On to yet another week.....



Saturday, January 13, 2018

Ducks and Gulls - River St. Clair

On this frigid morning, I went out to the St. Clair River.  There was a lot to look at as birds were spread out all along.  There was a terrific wind overnight and ice blew into our side of the river.  Spots that were open yesterday, were not today.  However, there was much to see.

Risley at Port Lambton


I stopped briefly at the Sombra dock, but with the change in demographics there, things are not concentrated south of the missing causeway as much as they were before.


Lots of gulls were spread along the way on the ice floes.  The first good spot was off OCF north of Stanley Line.

At the outflow, I was surprised to see about 8 Northern Pintail.  I could not get in a position for a really good look.  I did not want to get out of the car as they would probably flush.



I suspect these appeared with the recent mild spell.  Northern Pintail are well known for showing up during an unseasonably mild spell in early January.



Lots of ducks were at the brine barge near Seager Park.




Next stop was Guthrie Park at Corunna.  The bulk of the ducks were Long-tailed (many thousands) in midriver.



Unfortunately, there was too much shimmer with the bright sun today.  Cloudy days are actually better for scoping!



Recently, a Barrow's-type goldeneye was seen in the area, but I could not find it today.  Perhaps Bago was in midriver, but even scoping was difficult today.
There was not a large concentration of gulls here today.  Maybe later in the day?




Several Glaucous Gulls were present, but no Iceland.



Some of those Glaucous Gulls blend in quite well!

Glaucous Gull in this photo!


Note ice on gull (above and below base of bill)!
Gull with ice on face!


Some ducks were fairly close for inspection.




I went into Sarnia as well.  Some open water was along the marina in Sarnia Bay. Lots of ducks and gulls were there, but nothing special.  At least five Glaucous Gulls were present there.

After grabbing lunch, I went back to Guthrie Park, but nothing had really changed.