Sunday, 13 October 2013

Booby part two

I hadn't seen enough of the Brown Booby, so yesterday I drove back to Fort Erie. This time I was with David Szmyr (who hadn't been able to drive down to see it yet). The weather was identical as it had been for the past 5 days: hot, calm, and sunny. The buzzing cicadas sure made it feel like a typical warm August day.

The Brown Booby had a pretty established pattern at this point. Roost on one of the structures in the water between Fort Erie and Buffalo every night, leave sometime shortly after sunrise to go out to the lake and presumably feed, and return to roost sometime in the afternoon or evening.

We were a little late in arriving and as a result missed seeing the Booby as it left to go out to the lake. However we stuck it out and were rewarded. Around 2:30 in the afternoon the Brown Booby was spotted flying in, and we all got on the bird as it settled on the pier. A lifer for many present, including Kory Renaud and Jeremy Hatt who had driven up from the Point Pelee area.

Just as we were about to leave, the Brown Booby got up and flew to the west. At one point a gull harassed it - pretty cool to see! We lost it as it approached another large breakwall at a distance of 3 km or so from us.

We drove back to Hamilton (where Dave had left his car), and decided that we would try and do an hour or two of lakewatching. Ross Wood and Barb Charlton were there when we arrived and they had seen several Black-legged Kittiwakes at this point. I was only able to devote about an hour of time before taking off to go to a family function, but in that time we saw several distance jaegers and kittiwakes. Brandon Holden began throwing bread around to attract gulls, and a juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull joined the fray. It's a weird looking Lesser Black-backed - completely dark tail, rather large appearance, overall just seemed too big and bulky for a LBBG...maybe a hybrid? Brandon has more details on his blog...

The Black-legged Kittiwake was another year bird, bringing me up to 304 for Ontario this year. I haven't been trying for a high year list - I've just been out birding a lot and seeing quite a few good birds. And I have another trip coming up in the future, that just might push me over 310. More on that later!

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