After running some errands last Tuesday evening I rewarded myself with a visit to Lasalle Marina. While the west side of the marina was ice-covered, there were pockets of open water on the east. Scanning the large concentration of waterfowl, I got pretty decent looks at three species I was after: Redheads, Ring-necked Ducks, and Canvasbacks.
Along the path two Carolina Wrens, a Dark-eyed Junco, a Brown Creeper, a Song Sparrow were busy foraging.
Saturday morning at the Lift Bridge was simply lovely.
The water flowed east, emptying the canal of ice.
This American Coot climbed on for a brief ride.
I couldn’t figure out what this falcon was eating but it was obviously delicious.
By this point four birders I recognized from the Whitby area arrived to survey the birds.
Windermere Basin was pretty awesome. I started at Eastport viewing the Northern Shovelers and other waterfowl. The Whitby birders soon stopped by.
While we were watching the shovelers and others, a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk was mucking about.
Then it was on to the viewing platform with two local birders, including Barry C. From this spot a Northern Harrier was observed hovering low and slowly above the berm. I didn’t have the right camera for the job.
I chatted briefly with Barry who informed two Bald Eagles were spotted earlier on. How I pouted, kicking myself for spending too long with the shovelers. But as the avian gods would have it, I did spot two Bald Eagles (an adult and a juvenile) as I headed out!
Saturday’s next stop was the behind the Waterfront Hotel where I found three Surf Scoters.
Two of the three ultimately found a spot for diving and foraging near the promenade at Spencer Smith Park. I watched them for quite a while.
About 15 minutes later I noticed a bird in my peripheral vision. Utterly caught off guard, I took one quick photograph.
Naturally, I abandoned the scoters for the loon. What a workout that was! Photographing loons is a real treat. They remain submerged for prolonged periods, resurfacing well beyond where you anticipate. In this instance, I was standing near the playground. The loon resurfaced closer to the pier! Once it dove again, I moved to half-way between the two points, scanning the waters to the left and right and further out. The loon resurfaced well west of where I was standing. And so it went on. I looked like a royal “loonatic” going back and forth but what did I care!
Prior to leaving I checked in a small group of White-winged Scoters behind the hotel.
Sunday morning I had the right camera in hand at Windermere Basin but the party was over. No raptors were observed during my stay. I did find two House Finches nearby singing atop pine trees.