The day my Bird-A-Day challenge came to an end, a Great Horned Owl sighting was posted on the ONTBIRDS ListServ and I did not see the e-mail until later in the week. A few days had past since the sighting but I was anticipating that the owl may have a mate and was set to raise young in the Town of Fort Erie. If Jean and I could not find the Great Horned Owl, we could always take a side trip home along the Niagara River. That way, the day would not be totally wasted.
Saturday was a mild and damp day. The rain did not make it easy to scope a tree 100-150 metres away from where I stood. The nest appeared to be mostly leaves and as far as I could tell, it did not contain an owl. On a sunny day, I would have stayed a bit longer. It appeared to Jean and I that the owl was elsewhere. So we headed east to the Niagara River for a leisurely drive towards Chippawa.
The usual variety of ducks were encountered, each species preferring their own section of river when gathering in large numbers.
A small quantity of of Tundra Swans were observed this time. They will soon leave the region, possibly joining the thousands of swans at Long Point before heading to their breeding grounds in the Arctic.
Further down river, we paused to view an adult Bald Eagle perched in a tall deciduous tree. There are quite a few trees at this location, a preferred spot for resting Bald Eagles and we have found them here on two previous occasions this year.
A large float of Greater Scaup near Baker's Creek concluded our trip of searching for waterfowl along the upper Niagara. Nothing new was found between Fort Erie and Chippawa. Looks like a change of scenery is required. With early spring migrants on the move, it was time for the annual OFO trip to the Long Point area. 10, 000 Tundra Swans awaited our arrival the afternoon of Friday March 11. I was hoping there would still be room left for one or two Sandhill Cranes. A target species I could not afford to miss.