December 25, 2012
First let me wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!!
I hope Santa was good to you all!
Today’s story is about my trip to Gosport and Presqu’ile Park. It started late yesterday morning. Elaine and I were having breakfast when a beam of sunlight suddenly (and quite unexpectedly) started to stream in through the kitchen window. Elaine quickly convinced me to take advantage of the good light. I had heard that there were some American Coots and a possible Glaucous Gull in Brighton, so I grabbed my gear and headed out..
As luck would have it, the good weather didn’t hold. In fact, only 15 minutes after I left the house the heavy clouds returned and swallowed the sun. I was debating whether or not to turn the car around, when I spotted a pair of Red-tailed Hawks perched together in the same tree. This was an unusual sight, and I decided it was a good omen and a sign that I should carry on despite the cloudy skies – and am I glad I did!
My first stop was the east end of Price Street in Gosport. There I spotted a Great Blue Heron, and a Bonaparte’s Gull. This was a great start to the day! Nearby, on Bay Street I spent some time with a bevy of Mute Swans. There were many young ones sporting a beautiful combination of white and beige feathers.
Further out in the Bay were the American Coots I had heard about, but they were too far off to get any good photos.
At the south end of Cedar Street there is a lookout, which gave me a good vantage point to look at a flock of gulls sitting on the ice. It was there that I spotted the Glaucous Gull. Here’s a photo.
The “circled” gull is the Glaucous. Sorry I couldn’t get a better shot, but you can see the all-white appearance, the large size (larger than a Herring Gull), and its tail that extends almost to the wing tips.
As I turned to go back to my car, I spotted 6 Robin-sized birds perched in a nearby willow. A closer look revealed that they were Pine Grosbeaks! I drove up the street and around the corner to get a better look and hopefully some good photos, but the birds disappeared before I could get there.
My next stop was the causeway leading into Presqu’ile Provincial Park. There was still a good amount of open water occupied mostly by Mallards. However there was also a beautiful male Hooded Merganser swimming about.
Isn’t he a gorgeous bird!
Inside Presqu’ile Park, along Bayshore Road, there were large numbers of Long-tailed Ducks, and I spotted some White-winged Scoters. It had been a terrific day of birding, and to top it off I came eye-to-eye with this fellow: