We headed out last Saturday to Niagara Falls. Sir Adam Beck Power Dam was one of our stops.
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.
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!
After much rejoicing we strolled across the street to see what we could find on the Niagara River.
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.
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.
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.
It was here that I got close looks at Bonaparte’s Gulls.
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.