Niagara Region: American Wigeon & Great Blue Herons

 

Desjardins Canal: American Wigeon

After breakfast we settled on a visit to Desjardins Canal located in Dundas, Ontario. Here we were greeted by a number of ring-billed gulls.

Ring-Billed Gulls

Ring-Billed Gulls

It is at this location that we encountered our species of the day – the American wigeon.

American Wigeon (Male)

American Wigeon (Male)

American Wigeons

American Wigeons

We almost missed the wigeon. We left this area to explore the west and east side of the canal and were about to leave for good when we decided to have one last look.  It’s hard to photograph birds while you are doing the happy dance.  I managed to maintain some form of decorum but it was haaaaaaaard!

The birds at Desjardins were concentrated in one spot. We chanced upon a pair of hooded mergansers, buffleheads and common goldeneyes travelling together.

Buffleheads, Common Goldeneyes, Hooded Mergansers

Couples Retreat (Buffleheads, Common Goldeneyes, Hooded Mergansers)

There were also American coots in the area. I now have 2 new types of birds to add to my list.

American Coot

American Coot

Sixteen Mile Creek: Great Blue Herons

We headed down the QEW to Sixteen Mile Creek located in the Town of Lincoln where the one who makes all decisions had sighted a number of great blue herons and cranes during the week. We were not disappointed. On arrival at the south side four great blue herons were present but only two remained long enough to be photographed.  I need a blind.  The heron made four attempts to return to his spot u-turning each time he spotted us.  If only I had a blind.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Charles Daley Park: Hooded Mergansers

On our way to the north side of the creek we made our first of what we hope to be many visits to the lovely and well-designed Charles Daley Park.

Boardwalk: Charles Daley Park

Boardwalk: Charles Daley Park

A pair of hooded mergansers were the jewels of the park.

Hooded Mergansers

Hooded Mergansers

The  hooded mergansers  brought to mind an article I read in the March 28, 2014 edition of the New York Times titled “An Exaltation of Birds And He Who Adored Them”. The article states, in part, “You’d have to search the archives of Surrealism to find a creature as imaginative looking as Audubon’s male hooded merganser in breeding plumage, with its miter-shaped head and yellow-dot eyes.”

Hooded Merganser (Male)

Hooded Merganser (Male)

The piece is not only a review of “Audubon’s Aviary: Parts Unknown (Part II of the Complete Flock)” presently on exhibit at the New-York Historical Society it also serves as a biography of John James Audubon’s life and work.  Images from the show are viewable at nytimes/design.

Our last stop was the north side of Sixteen Mile Creek where a skittish great blue heron immediately took flight. A curious turkey vulture soared overhead.

Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture

It’s odd but in the last 24 hours I spotted turkey vultures at Lasalle Park, Desjardins Canal, Burlington and Aldershot GO stations and this morning eerily hovering over Smiths Funeral Home.

 

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