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Canadian Birding and a Lifelist BLITZ

Published January 13, 2013
Tags: Life List Happenings, Canada Goose, American Wigeon, American Black Duck, Mallard, Canvasback, Redhead, Greater Scaup, White-winged Scoter, Black Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Common Loon, Double-crested Cormorant, Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, American Coot, Bonaparte's Gull, Little Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Thayer's Gull, Iceland Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, European Starling, Lake Niagara, Niagara River, Canada

Yesterday was a phenomenal day: a life-list BLITZ and a wonderfully good time. A couple of great birding friends called to see if I wanted to accompany them on a little birding adventure with them since it was such an unusually warm day (just about 60 in the middle of January - wow!).  I was planning to do a little birding on my own anyway and I've found that on the few times I've birded with seasoned experts, I learn MUCH. So, my response was an immediate "yes" and I quickly grabbed the opportunity!

Jim Landau drove and Doug Happ generously gave up the "shot gun" position for me.  We headed down to Rich Marina to see if the Snowy Owl was present.  No luck there.  But that ended any bad luck.  From there on out, we saw one wonderful sighting after another.

On the Canadian side of the Niagara River, we saw an adult Bald Eagle soaring amongst the gulls, we picked up several kinds of gulls, including a LITTLE GULL at the tail end of the trip, an ICELAND GULL, and a THAYER'S GULL, plus a beautiful pair of Peregrine Falcons dipped, dove, and soared near the power plant.  I added several ducks to my life list too.  My total life list additions numbered a DOZEN!  That's a record-breaker for me!

Actually, we didn't have any luck looking for owls on our way back to the states either. So, owls were a big zero, but the rest more than made up for it.

I didn't want to encumber our trip with my tripod, so photos are a little less than great, but they're overall, not too bad.  What a day; thanks, guys!

Our total list for the day:
Canada Goose
American Wigeon
American Black Duck
Mallard
Canvasback
Redhead
Greater Scaup
White-winged Scoter
Black Scoter
Long-tailed Duck
Bufflehead
Common Goldeneye
Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser
Common Loon
Double-crested Cormorant
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
American Coot
Bonaparte's Gull
Little Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Thayer's Gull
Iceland Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Merlin
Peregrine Falcon
European Starling
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Peregrine Falcon (one of two seen together)
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Peregrine Falcon
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Bald Eagle - a magnificent sighting for me!
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Bald Eagle
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Bald Eagle
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Merlin
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Common Loon
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Common Goldeneye
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Canvasback
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Redheads
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Greater Black-backed Gull
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5 Greater Black-backs in this group
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An extraordinary flush of gulls, most likely caused by the appearance of the 2 Peregrine Falcons
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By the power plant, looking for white gulls: the top left corner contains at least 1 Iceland Gull
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A Thayer's Gull on the lower left
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The Thayer's again
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A little blurry, but you can really tell the dark under-wings of the Little Gull
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Little Gull
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White-winged Scoters
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Long-tailed Duck
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A group of Long-tails
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A pretty display of Bonaparte Gulls nicely lit in the setting sun - it almost looks like a painting!
Reply from: Martha Deed on 1/17/2013 2:31 PM
 A wonderful treat to see this bouquet of birds -- especially the Little Gull, which I've been stalking for some time -- so far, unsuccessfully. Thanks for these.