On the evening of Sunday June 12 Jean and I spent a short period of time birding the lagoons of the Wetland Ridge Trail. It was an evening for viewing parents and their young.
Even before entering the nature area we were greeted by an adult Northern Flicker feeding one of its young in the college parking lot. Passing the vehicle gate, we spotted young sparrows, unsure of the species, in the storage yard. The young sparrows flew through the chain link fence to the adult Chipping Sparrow (another adult busy feeding its brood) across the access road.
As we approached the lagoons a male Common Yellowthroat, our first Ontario sighting for the year, crossed the path.
Walking up to the edge of the north lagoon we flushed 2 juvenile Black-crowned Night-Herons.
Both herons flew to the nearby corner of the lagoon, landing on a log to our right.
Though slightly blocked by the surrounding vegetation, Jean was able to capture the following digiscoped image.
The adult with young theme continued. An adult Pied-billed Grebe was kept busy attending to 4 young.
Moments after flushing the immature herons, 2 Green Herons flew in the opposite direction from the same area to a small stand of trees on the northern edge of the lagoon. Both species of heron were added to the year list this evening.
With our time limited we would only reach the north-east corner of the north lagoon. Exploring the south lagoon would have to be done on a future visit. The usual species were observed walking along the raised path but we could not find any shorebirds on the mat of algae and debris.
Returning along the northern edge of the lagoon (the Niagara Escarpment beautifully lit by the setting sun) we spotted 2 more Black-crowned Night-Heron (1 juvenile & 1 adult). Back at the original viewing area we found another youngster, a juvenile Spotted Sandpiper. A Solitary Sandpiper has to show up sooner or later.
As we were leaving the Wetland Ridge Trail, one of the Green Herons flew by and came to a rest in a tree, long enough for another digiscoped image.
Other than counting Chimney Swifts, this was our first time birding in the Niagara Region since returning from our vacation in British Columbia (more posts to come). I suspected we would find a heron (BcNH) but adding two species of heron we needed for the year list (in one evening) was a pleasant surprise.
We still have to find a Grasshopper Sparrow this year. A visit to some grasslands in the region should be planned before its too late.
All images by Jean