Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Shore Birds

Green heron

It seems there are more herons around this year. I hope it's not my imagination. On our sailing trip we've seen herons almost every day, even in Belleville in the nasty weather when we were tied up, one was standing on the dock. Mostly blue, but we also spotted a few green, one of the few birds known to use bait to catch their fish dinner.

Kingfisher sightings were not uncommon. Saw one in Olcott, another in Pultneyville.

Majestic osprey overhead in Waupoos, Little Sodus and Olcott. And we think we saw an eagle in Waupoos, fighting the osprey for territory. It actually maneuvered itself upside down and raised its talons in the air to defend itself against attack.

Mute swans, Canada Geese, merganzers, mallards. They spend so much time bobbing in the water. I find it a bit hilarious when they raise their back ends to the sky while they scrounge a bite.

Cormorants, spreading their wings and ruffling their feathers. As long as they aren't too numerous, I enjoy watching them strut and slap their wings against the water on take-off and landing.

Red winged blackbirds and bluejays are not really shorebirds, but I see so many lakeside they should be classed as honourary members.

And hours and hours of entertainment watching swallows' acrobatics in the air and their tightrope dances on dock lines. Loop de'loops. They were especially abundant in Pultneyville.

Ever present are the laughing gulls and elegant terns. Standing sentry. Diving into the water. Sadly, we watched one gull breathe its last on the dock at Fair Haven, after a fight to the death. It looked so soft but broken and twisted at the same time. Gulls are such scrappy, tough old birds. Although some of the rough weather grounded them, they bounced on top of the lake with the ducks. 

Waupoos gull

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