Thursday, January 2, 2014

And so the list begins again...

As you can see from the Bird Count Panel on the side we have indeed started counting again this year. Most dedicated birders compile year lists and so I guess we can suggest that we are "dedicated".

 That dedication waned considerably as we stood out on the break wall of the Burlington Canal searching for the rare female King Eider, among hundreds of Long-tailed Ducks, that had been spotted only moments before we arrived.

 Our fingers and cheeks froze from the severe winds and we quickly gave up hoping that the bird will be spotted again on a sunny, warmer day.  On the positive side we saw 45 species on our first day up from the 32 of 2013.  In 2013 11 of those birds were lifers for us - this year we had only one lifer - the beautiful Northern Pintail.

 Anyone living close to Burlington owes themselves a trip down to LaSalle Park Marina in the winter to view the beautiful Trumpeter Swans that spend the winter there along with numerous duck species.  The Trumpeters are part of the breeding program from Wye Marsh near Midland and the young birds are captured and tagged at LaSalle during the winter and so they all sport numbered yellow tags.

We were very lucky to see 3 Bald Eagles as well - one adult flew past our home while we were tallying the species around our feeder, the second one was on an adult on the ice off Eastport Drive and the third was a sub-adult flying south across Burlington Bay.

Another very pretty duck is the Green-winged Teal, the lighting was not great for pictures yesterday but he is a brilliant mix of colours.

Any guesses what the name of this duck is?  The Northern Shoveler because that beak is like a shovel!