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Week Three of the January Bird Count

Posted Jan 17 2010 6:03pm
Watching birds from the pier at the Burlington Canal

I went out almost every day again after work to look for birds for the count and until Friday, added only three to my list. The most unexpected find was a Belted Kingfisher who was noisily fishing an open spot in the Grand River.

On Saturday my husband and I took a forty minute drive to the shores of Lake Ontario at Burlington, Ontario. Many species of water birds overwinter here and it would be the best chance to reach my goal of 45 birds. I counted 31 birds and added 14 to my monthly total including two life birds. Last year I saw a White-winged Scoter for the first time and this year added a Black Scoter and a Surf Scoter to my list. While driving along an off ramp of the Queen Elizabeth Way, my husband noticed two Bald Eagles sitting on the ice in the bay. We were able to pull over on the shoulder to get a picture from the car.

Zebra Mussels and Greater Scaup

The docks at the LaSalle Marina had been pulled out of the water in the fall and many zebra mussels were attached to the frames. This invasive mollusc was introduced to waterways of North America from Russia on the hulls of ships. It is eaten by Greater Scaup and these birds were present in the bay.

Here are the birds I added to my January list yesterday:
Mute Swan, Trumpeter Swan, Black Duck, Red-breasted Merganser, Northern Shoveler, Bald Eagle, Greater Scaup, Long-tailed Duck, Canvasback, White-winged Scoter, Black Scoter, Surf Scoter, American Coot, Redhead Duck

So I have a total of 50, five over my goal. I has not taken me as long to find birds this year as last year's experience taught me where to look. Perhaps I will get closer to the number of birds I found last year.

Long-tailed Duck, Surf Scoter
Bald Eagles, Northern Cardinal

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