Tufted Titmouse (Dufferin Islands, Niagara Falls)

We headed out last Saturday to Niagara Falls.   Sir Adam Beck Power Dam was one of our stops.

Sir Adam Beck Power Dam

Sir Adam Beck Power Dam

Loads of gulls!  Identified Ring-billed, Herring and Bonaparte’s.  On November 28th and 29th birders will descend on this and other view points along the Niagara River for the annual gull watch.  We encountered birders here during the 2014 gull watch. Seems to be an art to distinguishing the various gull species.  I went cross-eyed.

Dufferin Islands

Dufferin Islands

Dufferin Islands

Ashamed to say in all my years, I’ve never stepped foot into this park.  Pity!  I really like it.  Free parking is an added bonus.

Target species – Tufted Titmouse.   Method:   Greeted a birder exiting the park with the query, “Excuse me, we’re looking for titmice.  Could you tell me where the feeders are?”  His response, “I saw three here moments ago.  With a little patience you should see them.”  Externally I thanked him profusely, internally I was doing a happy dance.

We stood at the entrance, looking around.  In less than five minutes, voila!

Tufted Titmouse at Dufferin Islands

Tufted Titmouse at Dufferin Islands

Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse

After much rejoicing we strolled across the street to see what we could find on the Niagara River.

Hooded Mergansers (male and female)

Hooded Mergansers (male and female)

Common Goldeneye (two female, one male)

Common Goldeneye (two female, one male)

Gadwalls leading Mallards

Gadwalls leading Mallards

Gulls in flight

Gulls in flight

Gulls in flight

Gulls in flight

Gulls congregating at the mouth of the Falls

Gulls congregating at the mouth of the Falls

View of Niagara Falls, New York

View of Niagara Falls, New York

Gull isle

Gull isle

We re-entered Dufferin Island on a path leading to some ponds.  This decision netted stellar views of a Gadwall, American Black Ducks and, of course, Mallards.

Gadwall (male)

Gadwall (male)

Gadwall (male)

Gadwall (male)

American Black Ducks

American Black Ducks

American Black Duck (foreground)

American Black Duck (foreground)

Post bath wing flap

Post bath wing flap

Mallard shaking caboose

Mallard shaking caboose

Another local birder encouraged us to return in a few months as he usually finds coyotes on the ice.

Niagara River Parkway

We could not help but notice the number of homes listed for sale along this stretch.  Anyhoo, we stopped once we spotted this Common Loon.

Common Loon

Common Loon

As I knelt on the grass I heard a vehicle behind me.  A right neighbourly gent in a 4X4 pickup stopped, straddling both lanes, to inform me that he usually sees two loons and some bald eagles on this stretch. He encouraged me to return in a couple weeks to see the influx of waterfowl.  I thanked him kindly, give him the thumbs up and immediately started daydreaming of encountering eagles on the Niagara River.

Returning to the task at hand, I noticed a second bird on the water.  Lo, it was a Red-necked Grebe.

Red-necked Grebe

Red-necked Grebe

It was here that I got close looks at Bonaparte’s Gulls.

Bonaparte's Gull in flight

Bonaparte’s Gull in flight

We stopped a bit further west for a spell then decided to rustle up some grub.  By the time we were finished, darkness was enveloping the land. Note to self, next time start earlier and pack a lot of snacks.

 

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