Waterfowl: Niagara River pt. 2

My excursion encompassed beautiful, stately homes, the river, and the birds.  The day was overcast and the temperature somewhat mild.  Quite the feast for the senses.

While the Niagara river was running freely, it was evident that portions of it were previously frozen.  I saw small groups of dead waterfowl appearing to have been captured by the ice.  Along another stretch of the river I spotted a brave red-breasted merganser struggling against the tide and large broken pieces of ice as he headed to the shore.  He was not distressed but it was hard to watch.

My missed shot of the day is what I thought was a merlin.  The one who makes all the decisions spotted it.  Before I could get the camera to focus properly, it was up, up and away. This one of the drawbacks of DSLRs.   I was crushed.  The one who makes all the decisions is still sulking.  Henceforth, I will tote along a point and shoot camera for such moments.

I shoot with a 500 mm lens which I thought was more than sufficient but have come to the realization that, particularly with regard to skittish waterfowl, I need an extender.  The funny thing about toting around telephoto lens is that passersby either (1) assume you are a professional photographer, (2) disclose lens envy, (3) think you’re an experienced birder.   In the last week I was approached with a lens envy comment in Bronte and while on the Niagara.  We all shared a good laugh.

The one who makes all decisions is the epitome of patience.  As we drove along, he’d hear, “Oh, look.  Stop, stop, stop” as I jumped out the car while it was still in motion.   He kept warm in the car munching on trail mix as I flitted from spot to spot.  I can’t help but wonder if he wishes I would return to my shoe shopping expeditions to Buffalo, New York.  Hmmmm…nah!

The following birds were displaying their glory on the mighty Niagara:

Male Mallard Duck

Male Mallard Duck (Anas platyrhynchos)

Female Mallard Duck

Female Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos)

Female White-Winged Scoters

Female White Winged Scoter (Melanitta fusca deglandi)

White-Winged Scoter

White Winged Scoter (Melanitta fusca deglandi)

Tundra Swans

Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus)

Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus)

American Black Ducks

American Black Ducks (Anas rubripes)

Juvenile Great Black-backed Gull

Juvenile Great Black-backed Gull



Female Common Goldeneye

Female Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)

Lastly, we stopped in Fort Erie and chatted with a couple lads who were fishing. We learned of fox and eagle sightings on the river.  Please check out the youtube videos of snippinghemos for rocking awesome wildlife activity captured on the Niagara River.

We watched two lads score a beauty of a rainbow trout.

Rainbow Trout Niagara River
All in all it was a memorable trip. Who knew that I would develop an immediate need for a house along the Niagara River!


Looking for Waterfowl: Niagara River pt. 1?


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