This weekend I had the pleasure of paying another visit to the Stevensville and Fort Erie area to see some family. Had a great dinner with the birthday twins (Terry and Chris), Fred and Skip at the Old Bank Bistro and I of course had some time to go birding on the river on Saturday afternoon.
Even though I saw much of the typical Niagara River rarities, I never get tired of seeing them again, especially in February when they are new for the year!
I started out at Mather Park and had great looks at the thousands of ducks flying, diving and resting on the water.
|Mather Park ice|
Many of the ducks were in full mating swing and were beginning to court. At least the males seemed to be into it, this female seemed rather annoyed and outnumbered. You can see the brown-headed female in the middle of the male Common Mergansers below.
Iceland Gulls were all over the place on Saturday, I saw several near the Control Gates above Niagara Falls and a stop at the Whirlpool revealed this nice adult. Unfortunately the tram wire got in the way of a clear shot. It was neat to see one here, as I don't recall seeing them at this spot before.
|Iceland Gull - note the clean white wings|
|The Whirlpool from above|
I stopped at the Queenston overlook to see if I could spot the resident Black Vultures and was quickly rewarded. I counted at least 8 birds circling and flying around although I think there were probably several more. I never get tired of seeing this awesome bird. The only spot in Ontario you could reliably find this species at almost any time. In addition to Black Vultures, I also saw nearly a dozen Turkey Vultures as well.
|Black Vulture - incoming!|
|Black Vultures soaring|
|Black Vultures with gull photo bomb!|
|In this shot you can see a Black Vulture above and a Turkey Vulture below, note how the Turkey Vulture holds its wings in more of a V pattern whereas the Black holds them nearly flat.|