Saturday, April 23, 2011

On Our Own: 2011 BOS Spring Count Part II

After a morning of good birding along the piers in Port Weller (St. Catharines), it was time for our group to separate and cover their assigned areas. The first stop for Jean and I was at Firemen's Park in the north end of Niagara Falls.

Thunder, lightning and rain shortened our time spent in the park but we were able to view 2 Tufted Titmouse near the parking area. It seems we always get the best birds at this spot while hiking in the park. If not for this tick, we would not have seen this species. They were absent at the famed feeders in Chippawa later in the day.

We covered a few roads in the northern section of our area, spotting 2 Wild Turkeys, and moved on to our next stop, the Niagara Parks Horticultural Gardens. I was looking for a repeat of last year's Spring list but we could not find any early arriving Ruby-crowned Kinglets in the tall conifers. We added Chipping Sparrow to the year list while searching the arboretum.

House Sparrows were plentiful in the ivy on the Niagara Parks' buildings.

Spring flowers were blooming. No more snow, right?


We continued south along the Niagara Parkway, counting any species observed as we passed the tourists lining the sidewalk near the Falls. John and Dan were covering Dufferin Islands so all Jean and I had to do was count the Black-crowned Night-Herons (FOY) roosting in trees on the small islands above the Horseshoe Falls.

Not an easy task when the herons are in close proximity to one another but we counted a total of 125 with the aid of our scope.

In Chippawa, we ran into Marcie (St. Catharines CBC compiler) and exchanged sightings of the day before scanning the bridge for Barn Swallows. None were found. Hopefully they have yet to arrive. If it's the design of the recently replaced bridge, then we will most likely not find Cliff Swallows during the BOS May count.

Mostly blackbirds and House Sparrows at the feeders and a few Song Sparrows were heard along the roads north and south of the Welland River.

The count ended with us adding birds viewed to our right (to the left was not our area) as we zipped back to St. Catharines on the QEW. In all, we observed 36 species and a total of 619 individuals after 5 hours of birding. 2 more firsts of the year for the day and still ahead of last year's pace. Now all we have to do is find a Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

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