Chirps and Cheeps

A Photo Journal of My Birding Experiences & Observations

My birding blog site


  Some December Birding

Published: December 29, 2018
Tags: General Observations, glaucous gull, iceland gull, lesser black-backed gull, great black-backed gull, snow bunting, northern shrike, common redpoll, black vulture, american robin, common yellowthroat, field sparrow, swamp sparrow, canvasback, chipping sparrow, black-capped chickadee, american black duck

I thought I'd make a pictorial blog post about some of the recent sightings I've had.  All were in the month of December and most were in Erie County with a few in Wyoming County.  The photo captions will tell the stories...

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A first year Glaucous Gull - nice to see the white-winged gulls arriving!

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This Glaucous Gull gave great views!

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An adult Lesser Black-backed Gull

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It was a nice grouping of gulls that showed the size of the Lesser Black-backed compared to the Great Black-backed.

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Not a great photo, but I was surprised to come upon a Snow Bunting perched in a tree in the late afternoon one day!

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This young Northern Shrike was fun to find!

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This Common Redpoll was up in Niagara County - and to date, still one of the only 3 redpolls I've seen this winter, despite promises of them moving southward. My theory is we will see them on their return trip north in the next 3 months. Fingers crossed!

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A nice display of the Black Vulture's silvery wing tips up in Lewiston, a known roost for these uncommon WNY birds.

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This Field Sparrow is certainly running late - seen at Times Beach on Dec. 12th and then again on the 20th.

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A talented American Robin flips and catches a berry!

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It's been nice to continue seeing our familiar sparrows, like this Swamp Sparrow. Our mild winter, so far, has been allowing them to stay and find food still.

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Here's a handsome adult male Canvasback, one of the grander looking ducks, in my opinion. It's nice seeing numbers of them building along the Niagara River.

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This first winter Iceland Gull was a lovely find one afternoon. I find them to be one of the daintier and prettier gulls that we only get to see during winter.

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I sure hope this young male Common Yellowthroat makes it through the winter - or, miraculously gets inspired to move south. I'm afraid he is one of those birds that failed to migrate and succumb to our harsh WNY winters.

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A poor photo of a Chipping Sparrow, another late bird that was seen at my home feeders on the 23rd. I haven't seen him since, so I hope he's in a warmer climate now!

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A closer look than usual of an adult Northern Shrike. This was in Wyoming County on the 28th.

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Lots of Snow Buntings in Wyoming County! I estimated this flock to number around 500. It was difficult to come up with that number, though - the flock kept coming and was very dense with birds, including a few starlings.

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How many Snow Buntings can you see in this photo? Look carefully on the ground!

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This pretty, little Black-capped Chickadee was seen on the 29th during the Hamburg-East Aurora CBC (Christmas Bird Count).

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Another bird that I was happy to include in the CBC was this American Black Duck.





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