Hamilton Area Birding
27 October 2013
Yesterday Miriam had to put in a stint at the Artists' Co-operative in Carlisle, so having dropped her off I took advantage of the four hours she would be there to do a little birding in the Hamilton area.
As expected, there were many Double-crested Cormorants Phalcrocorax auritus and the following pictures show juvenile birds who will be leaving the area soon to move to ice-free water farther south. People who raise catfish in the lower reaches of the Mississippi River will not be entirely happy to see them!
The numbers of Hooded Merganser Lophodytes cucullatus have been steadily increasing over the past few weeks as birds move in from the north, and this very handsome duck was not hard to find.
The venerable willows at Princess Point still retain their green foliage and are magnificent specimens of old trees.
I have seen more American Beavers Castor canadensis this fall than I have seen for quite some time. This is a difficult species to photograph given their nocturnal habits, but the following picture indicates their activity. Part of the lower bark has been stripped away and the beavers have commenced gnawing at the trunk. The wood chips are fresh and I suspect that overnight this tree was felled and the branches dragged away to a winter storage cache.
The two species of kinglet were quite numerous, especially Golden-crowned Kinglet Regulus satrapa, and they were in constant motion as they fed voraciously. It is amazing that small numbers of a bird so tiny as Golden-crowned Kinglet regularly spend the winter at these latitudes.