My Bird Blog: A blog about my birding discoveries, bird feeders, birds on my life lists, and all things bird related

Sue's Bird Blog Archives

From the Vineyards to the River

Published April 07, 2014
Tags: Parks and Preserves, Common Loon, Common Tern, Lesser Yellowlegs, Pectoral Sandpiper, Chipping Sparrow, Eastern Phoebe, Bald Eagle, Pileated Woodpecker, Tundra Swan, Common Tern, Bonaparte Gull, Little Gull

Over the last week, I was able to grab a couple of hours on a couple of occasions and visited some different habitats with a nice variety of bird life and some first of year (FOY) sightings.

In a vineyard down near Fredonia, I did a little birding with Gale (did you ever read her wonderful blog, Photos by November Gale?). We both saw our FOY shorebirds: 6 Lesser Yellowlegs and another species that we never were able to identify. Later, Gale found some Pectoral Sandpipers to boot! Maybe those were what our mystery birds were too... A Chipping Sparrow was a FOY for both of us and we added 3 Eastern Phoebes, a Bald Eagle, a Pileated Woodpecker, and over 30 Tundra Swans to our list of 40 species for the day.

A day or two later, I stopped by Rich Marine with Willie and Betsy after visiting the Hawk Watch for a short while. We were hoping to see the Tufted Duck that had been found by Jim Pawlicki the day before, but no luck there. I did get to see my FOY Common Loon and Common Terns and then lingered a few more minutes to watch the Bonaparte Gulls dive for fish in the river.

There were probably close to a thousand bonies and the place was a frenzy of activity. Some of these small gulls are nearly into their full breeding plumage now and it's a real treat to see them looking so fine.  In addition to several Common Terns, a Little Gull was also out flying among the bonies, but unfortunately, I never could grab a photo of that beautiful bird. But I did enjoy taking a few photos of the gulls and terns in spite of the cold rain...
bird photo
Tundra Swan
bird photo
32 Tundra Swans flying overhead
bird photo
One of three Eastern Phoebes seen in Dunkirk. I saw my 4th on my deck later when I arrived home!
bird photo
Adult Bald Eagle - 2nd of the day for me
bird photo
Common Tern
bird photo
Bonaparte Gull just starting to molt
bird photo
Bonaparte Gull nearly fully into adult breeding plumage
bird photo
In full adult breeding plumage - and he caught a fish to boot!