Last Saturday, on an overcast and rainy morning, we meandered through the Niagara area with no particular destination in mind. As we travelled along Point Albino Street North, a main road in Ridgeway, I spotted what I thought were garden ornaments. “Stop the car!” On yonder lawn were three sandhill cranes.
Next stop was Crystal Beach. A portion of the beach has been privatized. This narrow pathway serves as the entrance to the public beach.
There was a lovely mix of gulls and cormorants. We could not access the pier for better views because it was situate on the private portion of the beach.
Lastly, we wound our way along the Niagara Parkway in Fort Erie. Here we spotted at least five belted kingfishers. We did note double crested cormorants roosting in about eight trees at different points along the roadway. I wonder if they will be allowed to establish a colony along that stretch of roadway.
Colonel Samuel Smith Park
Rain fell, as forecasted, yesterday. The juvenile least bittern was present. A green heron was situate in the adjacent pond. These juvenile red-necked grebes were rather confiding.
I was happy to finally manage to get another decent photograph of the belted kingfisher.
As the lake was a bit rough, the following species congregated in the larger pond:
On the rocks scamped a mink.
Van Wagner’s Beach – Hamilton
The rain had eased a bit by the time I arrived. The lake was rougher here.
I spent some time practicing on gulls.
I’m certainly glad I headed out yesterday. The day’s highlight started with a conversation. I chatted with a birder who had travelled to Colonel Sam from Ottawa to see the yellow-crowned night-heron and the least bittern, both lifers for him. As I led him to the bittern we encountered two birders who had given up looking for the bird. On learning I’d seen it 20 minutes earlier, they joined us and together we located the bittern. Incredibly rewarding experience.