Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bird-a-Day: The Seventh Week

Monday February 13

The plan was to drive to the Adam Beck overlook after work to look for a gull species not on the Bird-a-Day list. Though it would be a quick inspection, there could be a few gulls to chose from.

Once on the Niagara Parkway, Jean spotted a raptor perched on a tree branch, north of the Queenston-Lewiston bridge. We were thinking the bird was a vulture and quite possibly, a Black Vulture. They were still being observed in the area so it was worthy of investigation. I turned the car around without reaching Adam Beck and pulled over onto the shoulder to study the bird. It was a Red-tailed Hawk.

Rather than turn around again to stop at the planned spot, I decided we should go to the nearby Locust Grove picnic area. With its open view of the river and Lewiston, New York, we still might have a chance to find one or two vulture species.

Neither species of vulture were seen but there were plenty of gulls flying at the the bottom of the Niagara Gorge. Bonaparte's Gull to start the work week.

Tuesday February 14

Unfortunately, the kingfisher displayed on my bottle of beer at dinner Tuesday evening could not be used for the Bird-a-Day. I had to settle for a pocket bird when the hunt around North Pelham came up empty. Rock Pigeons seen on a power line near the downtown would have to do. I still have European Starling and House Sparrow squirreled away and I'm hoping to hold onto them as long as possible.

Wednesday February 15

Looking for a reliable tick, Jean and I went to the forebay on the upper Niagara River. Pied-billed Grebe and Hooded Merganser were already on the list so I went with another species that can be commonly found above the Falls at this time of year. After ticking Gadwall, my options for waterfowl in this area of the region were fleeting.

Thursday February 16

I thought best to take this one while I could. Spotted an American Crow perched in a tree while I was heading to Thorold for a morning dental appointment. When I made an effort to look for this species, they were never around.

Friday February 17

Another closing shift for me at work so I headed to the Merritt Trail in the morning for a stroll along 12 Mile Creek. As usual, Mallards dotted the bank and cardinals were calling from both sides of the creek. I could have used the male Downy observed when returning to my car but I went with a species that was heard only. Though I did try to spot the American Goldfinch flying somewhere overhead, it never did come into view.

With the work week done, I could relax and breathe again. Another weekend to find that special species and thanks to Family Day, the search would extend into the holiday Monday.

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