Sunday, January 17, 2010

Week Three of the January Bird Count

Watching birds from the pier at the Burlington Canal

I went out almost every day again after work to look for birds for the count and until Friday, added only three to my list. The most unexpected find was a Belted Kingfisher who was noisily fishing an open spot in the Grand River.

On Saturday my husband and I took a forty minute drive to the shores of Lake Ontario at Burlington, Ontario. Many species of water birds overwinter here and it would be the best chance to reach my goal of 45 birds. I counted 31 birds and added 14 to my monthly total including two life birds. Last year I saw a White-winged Scoter for the first time and this year added a Black Scoter and a Surf Scoter to my list. While driving along an off ramp of the Queen Elizabeth Way, my husband noticed two Bald Eagles sitting on the ice in the bay. We were able to pull over on the shoulder to get a picture from the car.

Zebra Mussels and Greater Scaup

The docks at the LaSalle Marina had been pulled out of the water in the fall and many zebra mussels were attached to the frames. This invasive mollusc was introduced to waterways of North America from Russia on the hulls of ships. It is eaten by Greater Scaup and these birds were present in the bay.

Here are the birds I added to my January list yesterday:
Mute Swan, Trumpeter Swan, Black Duck, Red-breasted Merganser, Northern Shoveler, Bald Eagle, Greater Scaup, Long-tailed Duck, Canvasback, White-winged Scoter, Black Scoter, Surf Scoter, American Coot, Redhead Duck

So I have a total of 51, six over my goal. I has not taken me as long to find birds this year as last year's experience taught me where to look. Perhaps I will get closer to the number of birds I found last year.

Long-tailed Duck, Surf Scoter
Bald Eagles, Northern Cardinal


  1. Getting close Ruth! Love that photo of the long tailed duck!

  2. Way to go.The guys on that dock are taking this birding seriously.

  3. Good for you Ruth. I love that Long-Tailed Duck too!

  4. You have just about 2 weeks left and I hope you double your goal. You surprised yourself last year and I know you are going to do it again.

    I love the long tailed duck...he is gorgeous!

  5. Great pictures--they are very impressive. Good luck on your count!

  6. My goodness - you've done well! I haven't seen many birds this winter at all. Not even the juncos that you identified for me last winter. I was so hoping to see them on my back deck.

    Nice pics of the bald eagles. I don't think we have any here either. At least I can come here to enjoy your bird pics. Thank you!

  7. HI Ruth
    Thanks for visiting my blog! Amazing how just a few hours further south yields so many more birds! Open water aside, it's nice to see them through your eyes. Also love the pic of the Chickadee having a sip of Timmy's!

  8. This sounds like a very successful week in your count. Great photo of the lighthouse, and of the bald eagle.

  9. That's one of the interesting things about doing this each year.It seems like just a game but you do learn a lot about where to find birds in your area.I think the Long-tailed Ducks are really fancy looking.Nice photos and good job finding those birds.-Plenty of time left too.


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