Saturday, January 10, 2009

Lake Ontario Winter Birding

I have been birding in the Hamilton/Burlington area of Lake Ontario twice this month. Many ducks spend the winter here and Burlington Bay has thousands of resident waterfowl at this time of year. Most of them are far out from shore and are difficult to identify. This is the first time I have really wanted to use a scope. My binoculars are very good, but it is still hard to see the features of some birds in trees and in the water. I saw at least six hawks I could not identify. Peregrine Falcons are found here but I did not see them. My January bird list, which I started thanks to Larry, is now at 46 species. I know I have seen more, but if I don't identify them I will not count them. Here is a slide show which features at least 20 bird species. You can see the birds about as well as I can in the field. Identification is not always easy but I have added 6 birds to my life list this month. Believe me when I say it was cold out there on Friday!! I was in a little sun, a lot of cloud and periods of heavy snow flurries.

How many can you identify? You can follow this link to YouTube and view the pictures in a larger format.

19 comments:

  1. I LOVE those long-tailed ducks! I have never seen one! I saw a kestrel, cormorant, Merganser, mallard, swan, and I can't think what else. It's late and I need to go to bed. Glad you've joined the Challenge! I'm up to 68 as of today!

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  2. That's an impressive array of birds Ruth! What are the ducks with the pretty white star pattern on their heads?

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  3. Uh, I should have said white on their heads with the star pattern over their bodies? :c)

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  4. Kathie- There are no less than 1000 Long-tailed ducks in a canal under a bridge. What a racket they make. That is why I have more than one picture of them. You ID'd several of the birds. There were three kinds of Mergansers there. I had to use my guide book frequently. You are doing well on the challenge.

    Jayne- That is the male Long-tailed duck. A beauty for sure! They used to be called Oldsquaw.

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  5. That is such a good idea to show the birds via video.The Long-taied duck caught my eye,and needed a field guide to identify it.
    Happy Birding,Ruth

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  6. I loved the video.......itsn't it just fascinating to watch birds on a huge expanse of water......

    I love hawks.....they are such beautiful birds.......so majestic......

    I saw a kestrel sitting in the old oak as I walked Nella today.......he was looking for mice or shrews........hope he found some. The barn owls were also out hunting......

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  7. I've never seen a long tailed duck. What a beauty that male is!

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  8. WOW that sure is lots of ducks! I agree the long tail duck sure is a beauty. That star across the body...what a fantastic marking. I have never seen one of those. There seems to be a large variety of ducks(waterfows) hanging out in Hamilton/Burlington. It's good that the steel companies have cleaned up and the birds can once again enjoy their "homes".

    I like the video idea and the challenge you put with it. I have to say I didn't know many of them but I'm still learning...the more I see the more I will remember. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. Ruth,

    I loved the video and the long-tailed duck is beautiful. I have never seen one in the wild. Now I know where to look.

    I saw the long-tailed duck, sea gulls, mallards and, I believe, a trumpter swan. I am not sure what the brown bird is, but can't see it really well. Can you identify it for me, please?

    Lovely post, as always. Once I'm better I really want to take another trip to Princess Point.

    Blessings,
    Mary

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  10. Ruth, surprisingly, I could identify many of them. But, I've been leafing through field guides constantly lately.

    You do have a variety this time of year!

    Keep looking and stay warm,

    Mary

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  11. Congratulations. I'm not a birder myself, but I know with what fervor and dedication it takes to peck away at the life list, whether for the year or the life long one.

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  12. What a great number of bireds. A copnflagration you cauld say. Also, by the way, did you ever notice that you cannot backspace on this new comment format.

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  13. Brr!
    Time for hot cocoa to warm the fingers!

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  14. You have had some really good birding recently in spite of the weather. Nice post.

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  15. There you are, knee rehab and all, out birding in Ontario which surely is colder and darker than Denver. I (mentally) whined whilst walking today through sunshine but brisk cold wind until I ran into a herd of robin busybodies in a neighbor's yard. Even the commonplace birdbrains are spirit lifters!

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  16. Those Long-Tailed Ducks were so neat, Ruth. I've never seen them before. Looks like there was lots of waterfowl activity to take your mind off the cold temps.

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  17. Thanks for all your comments. Here are most of the birds on the clip: Long-tailed duck, Mallard and Black Ducks, Ring-necked and Canvasback ducks, Bufflehead and Goldeneye ducks, White-winged Scoter, Common, Red-breasted and Hooded Mergansers, Trumpeter Swan, Cormorant, Redhead Duck, Song Sparrow (Mary's question), American Kestrel, Black Crowned Night Heron rookery, Black-backed gull, Ring-billed gull,Greater Scaup.

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  18. I would need time and a guidebook. I am not good on waterfowl or gulls...but what an opportunity to had there even in the cold...

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  19. Good job! I give you credit for toughing it out.-Keep it going Ruth.-Nice slide show too.I saw some familir ducks in there.

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