Sunday 10 January 2016

Niagara River - Black-legged Kittiwake, Black Vulture and...Fish Crows

This weekend I went down to Stevensville for a Euchre tournament with the inlaws (no I did not win) and found some time on Saturday to do my first real birding of 2016.

I took my usual course from Fort Erie north to Queenston, and had a lot of the usual good river birds such as Thayer's Gull, Iceland Gull, Lesser-black-backed Gull, Black Vultures and Fish Crows.

But undoubtedly the highlight of the day was re-finding the Black-legged Kittiwake that Henrique Pacheco found earlier in the day at Adam Beck!  It was over two years ago when I saw my last one, so it was a real thrill to see and take some distant photographs!  Note that distinctive black "M" shaped marking that stretches across each wing, indicating that this is a juvenile bird.  Taking photos of gulls at Adam Beck is very challenging since most are far away and other gulls are constantly swirling around.

Black-legged Kittiwake
Black-legged Kittiwake
A couple of other firsts for the year for me were Tufted Titmouse at Dufferin Islands and Common Loon near Fort Erie on the river.

Common Loon - in winter garb
It was a great day along the river, and an excellent way to kick off 2016!

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