Monday, September 26, 2016
Sunday, September 25, 2016
This Brant was the lone Brant among a flock of Canada Geese and Ring-billed Gulls. It really stood out. The first four photos are closeups of the Brant and the last two show it among the other birds. We can ID this goose as an adult Brant as follows:
- The incomplete white necklace. The juvenile does not have this.
- Small dark bill.
- Black head, neck and breast.
- Gray belly with whitish streaks on the flanks.
- Size: The Brant is considerably smaller than the Canada Geese and considerably larger than the Ring-billed Gulls; you can see this clearly in the fifth photo and also in the last photo ( it is the smaller dark bird on the right). This puts the Brant at about the right size for its species.
The Brant is a new species to our Life List, which now stands at 314.
The first photo is of an adult White-crowned Sparrow and the second of a juvenile. We can ID the adult as follows:
- Extensive white on head contrasting with black crown stripe and black eye stripe.
- Gray face and neck.
- Brown wings with two white wing-bars.
The juvenile White-crowned Sparrow is gray and brown overall with two white wing-bars and orangish bill.
We can ID this sparrow as a White-throated Sparrow as follows:
- Bright white throat contrasting with gray cheeks and breasts.
- Yellow supraloral.
- White/tannish eyebrow.
- Black and white striped crown. You can just make out the end of the white crown stripe in the photo.
- Gray bill.
Thursday, September 22, 2016
We can ID these ducks as Greater Scaups, rather than Lesser Scaups as follows:
- Rounded head. The Lesser Scaup has a corner at the rear of the head, while the Greater Scaup has a more rounded head.
- Prominent black nail on bill. This can be seen in the first photo.
The birds on the various rocky islands in the Niagara River just upstream from Niagara Falls are Double-crested Cormorants and gulls, mostly Ring-billed Gulls.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
In the first photo both Caspian Terns are in nonbreeding plumage, although the tern on the right is starting to get the more solid black crown and forehead of the breeding Caspian Tern. In the second photo the tern that is the third from the right
has the completely black crown and forehead of a breeding Caspian Tern.
Note the Kildeer in the upper left-hand corner of the second photo.