Saturday, 21 January 2012

Duck, duck, Goose!

This morning I was contemplating whether I would do the "right" thing and catch up on schoolwork, or whether I would try some birding. Since I would be missing nearly a full week of school next week that was currently the option which seemed the most prudent at the time.

What birds were there to chase, anyways? Could I go to Fort Erie and hope the kittiwake flies over to this side of the river? Maybe head up river and hope that the Black Vultures would fly over the river? Despite being at the river about 10 times since November I still hadn't seen these birds, on the Ontario side or the New York side. Should I go up to Guelph Lake and see if the Barred Owl is still around? It hadn't been reported in quite some time but that could just be a factor of the bird roaming around the woods a fair bit combined with the fact that most birders in the area had already seen and photographed it. Or should I drive to Aurora and try my hand at turning up the Townsend's Solitaire which was reported waaaay back on the Christmas Bird Count? It would be a long shot, but that's what big years are about sometimes.

Eventually I received an email on ONTbirds from Mark Peck who had refound the Brant and Greater White-fronted Geese at LaSalle Park in Burlington. Long story short, 45 minutes later I was looking at the geese!

Greater White-fronted Goose - LaSalle Marina, Burlington

Barb Charlton and the rest of the Hamilton "crew" were there among other birders and photographers looking at the geese. 6 Cacklers were hanging out along the edges of the flock of Canada's. While I had a Cackler earlier in the year fly over me at Stoney Creek, it was nice to get prolonged close-up looks at this species. 

3 (of 6) Cackling Geese - LaSalle Marina, Burlington

The Brant was supposedly hanging out to the west along the lakeshore. After staring at the distant flocks of geese I was able to see a small dark goose mixed in with a small flock of 8 Canadas. Eventually this flock got up and flew more towards the middle of the bay.

It was a few great hours outside in sunny, calm conditions. This may be the last birding I do before my trip on Tuesday with Barb as the schoolwork is really piling up. Well, those plans could change if someone turns up a rarity!


  1. Good geese!
    Birding takes priority over anything else from my standpoint!

  2. way to giver!

    Hear your going up north with Barbed wire..... :)

  3. Blake,

    Good to see you saw the bluebird today. Strange that four have been reported in Ontario in the past 10 months (Stoney Creek, March 2011, Moosonee, June 2011, and the two recent ones).
    I'm trying to make birding my number 1 priority this year! Hard to with school sometimes...

    That's the plan! Leaving Tuesday, driving all the way around from the Soo to Thunder Bay to Cochrane to Ottawa and back home....