Saturday, January 17, 2015

Lifer Below the Falls #450

In my home province of Ontario, Jean and I still have a few species to add to our provincial list. 201 to be exact unless additional species are accepted by the OBRC. When one is a lifer and it happens to be in Niagara, well I get three lists taken care of all at once.

On November 15 last year, we observed our lifer Sabine's Gull from a vantage point 57 metres above the Niagara River. Table Rock is an excellent location for viewing gulls flying below the Falls and after 15 minutes of scanning the Niagara River while elbow to elbow with tourists, we spotted the striking wing pattern of the reported juvenile Sabine's Gull.

A prediction for the next addition to my lists? Using eBird's Target Species application indicates the top five for my Niagara list based on frequency are Black Scoter, Black-headed Gull, American Pipit, Vesper Sparrow and Northern Saw-whet Owl.

Jean and I have not observed a Black-headed Gull and the remaining four species have been observed outside of the Niagara Region. Our lifer Saw-whet Owl was viewed on the region's front door step at the Hamilton managed Fifty Point Conservation Area and when I submitted my checklist to eBird, the conservation area had one hot spot at that location. A year or two later, the location was split into Fifty Point CA (Hamilton side) and Fifty Point CA (Niagara side). The conservation area is divided by Fifty Mile Creek a natural border between the regions of Hamilton and Niagara. I can recall that we were on the Niagara side of the creek but I've decided to leave the lists unchanged.

So, next species then? Black Scoter and I will keep you posted.

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