Saturday, January 7, 2012

King Eider - Port Weller

The weather in Ontario in January is rarely as nice as it was today. Sunny skies and above freezing temperatures made the conditions for winter birding extremely pleasant. The plan today was to travel to Niagara with several stops along the waterfront to scope out the waterfowl and whatever else might be around. We saw a nice variety including Trumpeter Swan, American Black Duck, Northern Shoveler, Canvasback, Redhead, Greater Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser and Red-breasted Merganser.

The plan also involved going after a drake King Eider that has been seen off & on for the last few weeks at Port Weller. This is the same location where Hannah & I got skunked looking for a juvenile Purple Gallinule last fall.

I had assumed that we would have to walk the lengthy trail out to the end of the canal, peeking in at various spots along the way. That turned out to be unnecessary since we immediately found the Eider amongst a raft of diving ducks in the canal directly adjacent to the parking area.

King Eider (Second-year Male)

King Eider is an arctic-nesting duck, and most spend the winter in the oceans off of Eastern Canada, New England and Alaska. A few are seen in Ontario each year, usually during the fall.

A very handsome duck indeed!

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