29 November 2014
It was a pretty grey day on Saturday, but Miriam and I decided that we would go out to see whether we could find any Snowy Owls Bubo scandiacus, since the first arrivals have already been reported in some locations.
We did not succeed in our Snowy Owl quest, but at the Conestogo Dam there were large numbers of birds, especially Common Mergansers Mergus merganser, Ring-billed Gulls Larus delarensis and Mallards Anas platyrynchos, with a few other appealing species thrown in for good meaure.
It was really interesting to see the patterns formed on the water by the vees created by individual birds intersecting to create a kind of grid.
Ring-billed Gulls, as might be expected were especially numerous.
This is a location where it is profitable to scan for rarities such as Glaucous and Iceland Gulls, but none were to be found on this occasion.
Here are the gulls massing with Mallards on the outflow side of the dam.
I think that this must be my Northern Pintail Anas acuta period, for another handsome male was present among the hundreds of Mallards.
Most of the mergansers stayed fairly far out but a few co-operative individuals came in closer to permit better photographs.
Perhaps these three decided that single file was a better way to travel!