Dundas Area Trip + Travelodge

HNC Trip – January 9, 2016

On Saturday we joined the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club’s Winter Birding in Dundas & Area, led by Rob P.  Below is the text of Rob’s report, punctuated with photographs taken during the trip.

We started at Olympic Woods, where the first spot we stopped at seemed quiet at first, but we ended up staying at the same spot for about 20 minutes as a new species would arrive every couple minutes. These included American Tree Sparrow, White-throated Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatch, Mourning Dove, Black-capped Chickadee, American Goldfinch, Red-tailed Hawk, Blue Jay, and a small flock of Eastern Bluebirds. Continuing along we checked the reeds of the north shore of West Pond and found a Song Sparrow (possibly two), American Black Ducks, Mallards, Ring-billed Gulls, and a lone 2nd winter Iceland Gull.
2nd winter Iceland Gull

2nd winter Iceland Gull

A lone stray Great Black-backed Gull also flew over heading inland, which is not something you see happen often here. Further along the trail we found the small group of Rusty Blackbirds, and hear the song of the Tufted Titmouse (though we didn’t get eyes on them). At the north creek, Northern Flicker was heard, many House Finches were seen and a White-crowned Sparrow was singing quite a bit (just heard, not seen) as well as a Red-breasted Nuthatch and Carolina Wrens. Also seen were American Robin, Herring Gull (flyover), European Starling, and Canada Goose. The Fox Sparrow wasn’t spotted.
 
On to Desjardins Canal, we found it not as heavily populated as it had been earlier this week, due in large part to the warm temperatures. An immature male Belted Kingfisher was seen and heard here as the lone passerine of interest.
immature male Belted Kingfisher

immature male Belted Kingfisher

Amongst the ducks were: Hooded Mergansers, Mallards, American Black Duck, Red-breasted Mergansers (female-type only) as well as at least 4 American Black Duck x Mallard hybrids.
Hooded Mergansers

Hooded Mergansers

American Black Duck (female)

American Black Duck (female)

Common Mergansers (female)

Common Mergansers (female)

American Black Duck x Mallard hybrid

American Black Duck x Mallard hybrid

We attempted to find the Gray Catbird and Marsh Wren on the opposite side of Olympic Drive but didn’t spot or hear either. Mute Swans and a Double-crested Cormorant were over here, though.
Mute Swan

Mute Swan

Our final spot was Fallsview Rd, along Dyment’s farm.
Rural Dundas

Rural Dundas

View of a farm

View of a farm

At first all we had were a few Mourning Doves, a hundred or more Rock Pigeons, and about 20 American Crows, but our patience was rewarded with a flyby of at least 150 Snow Buntings, who unfortunately only landed for less than a minute then continued on to another concession.”
Rock Pigeons

Rock Pigeons

Starlings (left) and American Crows (right)

Starlings (left) and American Crows (right)

After leaving the farm we stopped briefly at Clara’s Ride to take in the view.

Clara's Climb dedication

Clara’s Climb dedication

View from Clara's Climb

View from Clara’s Climb

On our way back to Burlington we spotted two Red-tailed Hawks at Desjardins Canal.

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

The trip was excellent.  We learned quite a bit about avian behaviour as well as the history of Dundas and the various spots we visited.

January 10, 2016 – Waterfront Hotel (formerly known as Travelodge)

My morning started with a cup of coffee at Tamp on Pine Street, Burlington.  I usually pick up a freshly baked scone and/or a yoghurt.

Cheddar and bacon scones

Cheddar and bacon scones

While I don’t like peanut butter, this combination piqued my interest.

Peanut butter and strawberry yoghurt

Peanut butter and strawberry yoghurt

Believe it or not it was something good!  Duly warm and full I headed out to the waterfront behind the Travelodge Hotel (now known as Waterfront Hotel).   Ruddy Ducks, a few Scaups, Mute Swans and Long-tailed Ducks were on the water.

As you can see most were resting.

Ruddy Ducks

Ruddy Ducks

The standout bird was a Ruddy Duck in breeding plumage.

Ruddy Duck Breeding males are almost cartoonishly bold, with a sky-blue bill, shining white cheek patch, and gleaming chestnut body. (Source - Allaboutbirds.com

Ruddy Duck Breeding males are almost cartoonishly bold, with a sky-blue bill, shining white cheek patch, and gleaming chestnut body. (Source – Allaboutbirds.com)

Six Mute Swans elegantly and effortlessly headed westward.

Adult and juvenile Mute Swans

Adult and juvenile Mute Swans

Juvenile Mute Swan

Juvenile Mute Swan

Three (two female, one male) Long-tailed Ducks were resting on the rocks in the area of the pier.

sleeping female Long-tailed duck

sleeping female Long-tailed duck

Sleeping male Long-tailed Duck

sleeping male Long-tailed Duck

I warmed up with a second cup of coffee then headed home to watch the Seattle Seahawks squeak by the Minnesota Vikings.  Whew!

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