Thursday, January 27, 2011

Black-legged Kittiwake ... The Detroit River has been good this week!

 I stopped by one of the Marinas in East Windsor today after work in hopes of seeing a recently reported Black-legged Kittiwake. I was only there for about 10 minutes when Karen from the Ojibway Park Nature Center joined me and we discussed the appearance of this elusive bird. We spotted it just seconds after we started discussing its appearance! Too funny. It was only about 30-40m from the docks that we were standing on. (Lifer #224)

One other interesting point is that on the e-bird observation graphs for Essex County, this bird is not even listed on it. Beyond that, I don't really know how common or uncommon this bird is.

This nice pair of Hooded Mergansers were not very shy and made for a nice photo. This duck species is so beautiful, and to get both in the same photo is a treat. This lets you compare the dimorphism of the species.

 Overall, its been a good week along the shore of the Detroit River for Winter birding! I'm repeating myself from my previous posting but White-winged Scoter and King Eider were seen last Saturday. Neither of those species were seen today. Black backed Gulls, Bald Eagles, GB Herons and 13 other species were seen. 

King Eider and White-winged Scoter were seen last Saturday but not today.

Three lifers in the dead of Winter? I'm luvin it!

Good birding!


  1. Good shot! The kittiwake is uncommon (fall migration) and certainly rare in winter. I cannot help but wonder if this is the one that was at Sarnia around New Year's, given the rarity.

  2. Amazing! Congratulations on this excellent addition, Dwayne. Great photos, too.

  3. You're on a roll with these rarities! I've been down to the marina a few times now and haven't seen a single one! A group spotted the Eider about 30 minutes before I arrived. I wonder what lucky number 225 is going to be?

  4. Love those mergansers...I'm still waiting to get nice and close to some! Crazy hairdos....

    yay for winter lifers! must be nice to have that open water...not much waterfowl around here!

  5. Great lifers so close together in such an unexpected location! I once went on a pelagic trip off the coast of California just to see this Kittiwake and did NOT see it, though others on the boat did. Bummer.

  6. Thanks for the nice feedback guys! I've been really lucky in the last week.

    Crystal, I'm not sure what #225 will be, but a long eared owl or long tailed duck would be nice.

  7. No Long-tailed Duck? There were hundreds in the upper part of the St. Clair R. this morning (Sarnia).
    Got the Harlequin too today.



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