My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

back to birding

Common Golden Eye
Common Goldeneye

I took advantage of the sunny day on Saturday with a great day of birding with 51 different species observed! I have been a little busy the past few weeks and this birding adventure was very much needed (what can I say, I am a birder!)! I started the morning over at Chautauqua Lake outlet in Celoron and ran into a few birding friends (great seeing Bob and Jim).

Celoron Birding
Morning Sunrise Birding at Celoron

Highlights at Celoron included multiple Canvasback, American Wigeon, Bufflehead, and Common Goldeneye out along the ice edge. My first for 2009’s included Greater Scaup (CHECK), Lesser Scaup (CHECK), Northern Pintail (CHECK), Gadwall (CHECK), Red-necked Grebe (CHECK) and White-winged Scoter (CHECK). Without a doubt the thousand or so gulls taking flight at once was an amazing sight!

Hooded Merganser
Hooded Merganser at Swamp Road – Randolph

I then found myself adventuring over to Swamp Road to finding Killdeers, American Robins and Red-winged Blackbirds most everywhere! Highlights included the Tundra Swans, Tree Sparrows, Eastern Bluebird, Woodduck, and Ring-necked Ducks along the roads. My first for 2009’s in Randolph included Brown Creeper (CHECK), Song Sparrow (CHECK) and Rough-legged Hawk (CHECK). Actually it was wonderful hearing the Song Sparrows in multiple locations singing up a storm.

gull ice.jpg
Gulls on Lake Erie at Barcelona

I then talked Patty into adventuring over to Barcelona Harbor with me to only find a few gulls resting on the ice. With the unexpected frozen ice we decided to visit Dunkirk Harbor with a surprise visit with Young Naturalist J and his family. While visiting (and finally giving him some temporary tattoos) we saw many American Coots, Red-breasted Mergansers, Common Goldeneye and Double-crested Cormorants (CHECK) which finally brought me to 50 species and 10 of which were first of the year birds!


Of course the trip home always brings something special and this was no exception. The numerous Turkey Vultures riding the warm thermals took my bird list up to 51 species for the day! I think our lasagna dinner was the most perfect way to end this great day of birding!

American Robin
American Robins were everywhere!

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21 responses

  1. Kallen

    I can’t get over the number of birds you saw!! Love the killdeer photo and the gulls!

    17 March 2009 at 6:15 am

  2. Enjoyed your post today. So many birds. My favorite photo is the showstopping Hooded Merganser. They certainly make a statement.

    17 March 2009 at 6:28 am

  3. Wow, that second picture made me catch my breath! I am so glad you are back to birding so I can come back to see your bird photos!

    17 March 2009 at 6:44 am

  4. Lisa at Greenbow

    It appears that you had a wonderful day of birding. Goldeneye are such beautiful birds too. Lucky you to get so close for a shot.

    17 March 2009 at 7:13 am

  5. Great list! You always inspire me to count more carefully. I was happy with what I saw on the weekend and was surprised at commoner birds I did not see at that particular hour on Lake Ontario. (cormorant, scoter, h. merganser, grebes and canvasbacks) I missed 50 Tundra swans by 2 hours which would have been a life bird for me. There were lots of scaups but I cannot distinguish between the greater and lesser. btw…thanks for the tatooes that arrived yesterday! I will get some out to Sam this week.

    17 March 2009 at 8:20 am

  6. Love the photos!

    My wifes’ parents used to have a cottage near/on Chautauqua. They were from Erie, PA.

    17 March 2009 at 8:21 am

  7. Bluebirds are back? Hoorah! I love your photos. I love when the ducks arrive. It’s like seeing exotic birds. I just love the male Goldeneyes and the Hooded Mergansers and Wood Ducks. They are gorgeous. My husband and I are like wide-eyed children again when we go down to the water and see all these wonderful waterfowl. People live here that have never been down to look at the ducks during migration to see how pretty they are. They don’t know what they are missing!

    17 March 2009 at 8:23 am

  8. Sarah

    I was hopeing to beat you with a pic of the American Robin but there hasn’t been any in our yard yet. I have only seen them along the road while driving and I haven’t gotten a good shot. You win.

    17 March 2009 at 8:34 am

  9. Sherri

    What a nice way to spend a day. Love the shot of the Hooded Merganser!

    17 March 2009 at 8:53 am

  10. Great photos–especially of the hooded merganser. Our robins have been coming in flocks–on the ground a little while, then gone.

    17 March 2009 at 10:27 am

  11. What a great day out! And lovely photos to seal the deal, very nice.

    17 March 2009 at 12:52 pm

  12. Some neat shots there – that one at Celoron looks like it’s ‘raining birds’!!

    17 March 2009 at 3:18 pm

  13. Great shot.
    I get these guys in my pond each year.. so pretty πŸ™‚

    17 March 2009 at 3:28 pm

  14. Bo

    51? I don’t know if I can even count that high any longer!

    17 March 2009 at 5:32 pm

  15. @ Kallen – Thanks and I was happy the Killdeer allowed me to get as close as I did!
    @ Kaholly – thanks and I liked that hooded merganser photo also!
    @ threecollie – Thanks and hope to get some more good photos as more birds return!
    @ Lisa – did have a great day and was at the harbor for the Goldeneye!
    @ Ruth – Glad you got out and the Swans are a great sight for sure! Other day we saw them moving across the sky! Glad you enjoyed the temp tats . . . can’t wait to see Sam sporting his tat!
    @ Mainebirder – thanks and many visit Chautauqua area . . . it is a great place!
    @ Linda – Yes, they have been around and it is great seeing the ducks again! Anything over at PI??
    @ Sarah – ha ha . . . I beat you. . . . ! I bet you will get a good shot here soon enough!
    @ Sherri – Thanks and I love that merganser photo also!
    @ Joan – I know . . Robins are just about everywhere right now!
    @ Adam – thanks and hope you had a great birthday the other day!
    @ Bird Girl – Thanks and it was raining birds! It was amazing!
    @ Leesa – Great and they are so fun! Welcome to the website!
    @ BO – he he he . . . I am sure you can!

    17 March 2009 at 6:45 pm

  16. Nancy

    What a wonderful day you had…. 50+ species is remarkable! Thank you for sharing your photos… the hooded merganser is an absolute beauty!

    17 March 2009 at 11:51 pm

  17. Red

    Wow! That is a really big birding day. Must be a great area up there with all the lakes around. Of course, then you have the lean months of winter to deal with.

    Thanks for sharing and giving inspiration!

    18 March 2009 at 12:50 am

  18. Marg

    ah a perfect day! congrats!

    18 March 2009 at 1:19 pm

  19. Love that morning sunrise pix!

    18 March 2009 at 6:42 pm

  20. oh my gosh… I’m in awe too…. so many of the birds your seeing says spring to me. Wicked! … I think it may have hit you a bit earlier. Your shots (once again) are so good it’s hard to call a favorite. An interesting note? the Merganser is the only rare bird for me. I find that soooo interesting considering the miles that are between us! Happy Spring Tom. I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more! πŸ˜‰ p.s. if a gun was held to my head it’s your killdeer.. that bird is the most difficult shot in the world. (I know, I know, I’ve done six dozen without one looking anything as good as this shot!) Fabulous.

    21 March 2009 at 12:18 am

  21. Great shot of the merganser! I think they’re vastly underrated.

    21 March 2009 at 10:32 pm

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