Bird Kingdom + Snow Goose + Ruddy Ducks

January 16, 2016

On Friday night I learned the forecast was for yet another overcast weekend.  As I couldn’t face yet another gloomy day, plans for birding along the lakeshore were shelved in favour of a trip to Bird Kingdom in Niagara Falls.  Thereafter, I trawled the internet for a bit, noting a Snow Goose was reported in Fort Erie.

Bird Kingdom, Niagara Falls

Love this spot.  In my early days with the camera, on my first visit, I took 3,111 photographs!  Those were the crazy days.  Below are a few photographs from this visit.  Not to worry, my photo count was substantially less.

Bearded Barbet

Bearded Barbet

Blue-crowned Pigeon

Blue-crowned Pigeon

White-throated Laughing Thrush

White-throated Laughing Thrush

Victoria-crowned Pigeon

Victoria-crowned Pigeon

Silver Pheasant grooming

Silver Pheasant grooming

Scarlet Ibis

Scarlet Ibis

Georgeous green bird

Georgeous green bird

The Thinker

The Thinker

Red-crested Turaco and Pied Imperial Pigeons

Red-crested Turaco and Pied Imperial Pigeons

Guinea Turaco

Guinea Turaco

Dufferin Islands to Fort Erie

Duly satisfied we stopped briefly at Dufferin Islands.  Totally my fault.  I forgot my boots at work on Friday and I was not about to traverse the muck in my backup boots.  We therefore birded from the car.

Herring Gull

Herring Gull

Hundreds, if not, thousands of gulls, like this one were foraging on the Niagara River.

Gull hovering over Niagara River

Gull hovering over Niagara River

Along the route to Fort Erie we stopped to admire a small flock of American Robins.

American Robin

American Robin

We had no problem detecting the solitary Snow Goose at Point Abino Bay in Fort Erie.

Snow Goose

Snow Goose

Snow Goose, Canada Geese, Mallard

Snow Goose, Canada Geese, Mallard

Snow Goose

Snow Goose

Snow Goose

Snow Goose

As we cruised from there a Cooper’s Hawk landed in a tree on the passenger side of the vehicle.

Cooper's Hawk

Cooper’s Hawk

January 17, 2016

Windermere Basin

A Snowy Owl was spotted at Windermere Basin on Saturday afternoon.  Thought I’d try my luck on Sunday morning with the bridge camera.  No luck but I did spot a lingering Great Blue Heron.  Some time was spent observing two Great Black-backed Gulls. While Buffleheads would not venture near the Gulls, Common Mergansers and Green-winged Teals exhibited no fear.

Female Common Merganser grooming

Female Common Merganser grooming

Female Common Mergansers

Female Common Mergansers

Green-winged Teal (male)

Green-winged Teal (male)

Green-winged Teal (female)

Green-winged Teal (female)

Green-winged Teal (female)

Green-winged Teal (female)

Spencer Smith Park

What a difference a week makes!  The Ruddy Ducks were paddling quietly along, bobbing on the water, untucking their heads every now and then for a bit of grooming.

Ruddy Ducks

Ruddy Ducks

Ruddy Ducks

Ruddy Ducks

Ruddy Ducks

Ruddy Ducks

Male Ruddy Duck

Male Ruddy Duck

Male Ruddy Duck

Male Ruddy Duck

Vigilant Ruddy Duck

Vigilant Ruddy Duck

 Ruddy Ducks (breeding and winter plumage)

Ruddy Ducks (breeding and winter plumage)

If only he'd untuck his head

If only he’d untuck his head

Female Ruddy Duck

Female Ruddy Duck

Next stop – watching the NFL playoffs!

 

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4 thoughts on “Bird Kingdom + Snow Goose + Ruddy Ducks

  1. Once again it is so great to see your photographs and I continue to be amazed at your travels and I do enjoy seeing the results of your encounters I am currently at Winter house in southern Texas and I am appreciating the birdlife I see down here. By far the most common birds we see at . Sometimes as many as 10 pairs hopping around in the bushes our feeders are the Cardinals. Sometimes as many as 10 pass fitting around the bushes and enjoying the sunflower seeds. We also have one of those Terra Cotta plate feeders not very large and I have seen as many as six White Winged Doves enjoying the seed on that. Another very frequent visitor is the tufted titmouse and it was down here that I first saw that bird. Like the chickadee it is the first bud to discover a new feeder and to tell everyone that it is there. The mockingbird enjoys the bird bath and loves the water we also see a certain kind of Thrush and the Thrasher. Our most impressive and vocal visitors are the Green Jays they always travel in groups calling with incredible voices and sporting fan yellow and apple green plumage with tinges of violet. In our backwoods areas we have scores of turkey and black vultures and groups of wild turkeys parade around the neighborhood.
    It was the variety of birdlife that brought us down to this area near the Mexican border in the first place. Previously we had spent our winters touring around Florida and felt we needed to see different species. In our community we have many acres of Woodland mostly live oaks and pecan trees. There is a large spring that leads on to a winding Creek that passes through a pond that is an attraction for herons and egrets and the three kinds of kingfishers. We have our home here up for sale as we are getting too old now to continue coming down here as we have for the last 15 years and I will really miss it.
    I want you to know that the work you were doing is really appreciated.
    Anne

    • I truly appreciate your kind comments, Anne. I’m blushing.

      What bounty and a treat for the eyes and ears you have had in Texas and Florida! As I read your message I envisioned/looked up the species mentioned. I’m particularly curious about the Green Jay. Thank you so much for sharing.

      Again, thank you for your encouragement. Enjoy the balance of your Texas vacation. Remain buoyed by the 15 years of wonderful memories.

      • Thank you for your response. The green Jay is impossible to ignore. There are always several birds traveling together in a group and they are constantly calling to each other. Their calls I like no other bird. Unbelievably raucous and diverse. The sounds they make range from hawk like shrieks to cackling laughter and strange growls. They always announce themselves when coming into the backyard and sit hidden in the trees talking to each other. When you see them that interesting plumage always comes as a shock. Applegreen yellow black and purple are such an interesting combination. When asked if he there tackling sunflower seeds no other birds can come close. Sometimes as many as five squash in to gobble veraciously and there is no squabbling.

      • Sounds just like a blue jay. Very interesting indeed. Now that my interest is piqued I’m going to check a couple sources of the next few days to determine whether this type of behaviour is noted with the gray jay and a few other jays. Very interesting.

        I agree the plumage is rather striking.

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