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Saturday, 1 December 2018

A Brief Stop at LaSalle Park and Marina, Burlington, ON

     30 November 2018

     November and the first half of December are the busiest periods of the year for Miriam's ETSY business. Due to rotating strike action by the employees of Canada Post Corporation she has been batching shipments and delivering them to a company that makes daily forays across the border to have mail shipped by USPS. This necessitates a trip to Burlington, ON, the nearest drop off point for us.
     We made the trip yesterday and took a thermos of coffee and a couple of muffins with us, and we enjoyed our mid morning break at LaSalle Park and Marina. We made just a twenty minute stop but we did a cursory check of the birds closest to shore.
     As might be expected Trumpeter Swans (Cygnus buccinator) have begun taking up residence for the winter and we saw about twenty of them.


     By the end of the year we can reasonably expect this number to swell to a couple of hundred.
     Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) was the most common larid, but American Herring Gulls (Larus smithsonianus) are moving in too. Here is a group of Ring-bills loafing on the pier with an adult Herring Gull preening in the background.


     This immature Herring Gull seemed content to keep his distance from the others.


     There were several small groups of Common Goldeneyes (Bucephala clangula) and their numbers will increase exponentially over the next few weeks.



     White-winged Scoters (Melanitta deglandi) have arrived, but still in small numbers and mostly beyond photographic range.


     Perhaps the most interesting sighting of all was what appears to be a leucistic Mallard (Anas platyrynchos), a phenomenon I have seen before - but seldom.


     No doubt we will be back down there on Monday so we will see what might have changed over the weekend. LaSalle always has the potential for surprises.

41 comments:

  1. Hi David. I hope your cold is not incapacitiating you too much. That postal strike must be real real burden during the run up to Christmas, but I'm pleased the you've found a solution for Miriam to keep supplying her customers - with the added bonus of seeing some great birds at LaSalle Park! I do have a soft spot for the Trumpeter Swans that visit your region each winter, and always look forward to your blog posts which feature them - even if the tags are rather unsightly!

    Keep nursing that cold, and please see if you can persuade a few Snowy Owls to head our way. My love to you and Miriam - - - Richard

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  2. You saw the wonderful birds, David!
    I am not sure that we have the Trumpeter Swans where I live but at the end of December the Tundra Swans would stop for a few months at the Bear river. I hope to see them.

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  3. Hari Om
    oh you know I loves me the seabirds... have never seen a leucistic duck before - it's rather handsome! YAM xx

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  4. Lovely birds.
    Trust the Post to strike towards Christmas time inconvenient for many - but then when people do decided to strike it's always inconvenient for someone.

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    1. It is inconvenient, Margaret, but I think that the union has some genuine grievances and from their perspective the time to strike is when they can inflict the most pain on management.

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  5. Love that mallard so different looking like one of a kind...

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  6. I am sorry for the necessity, but love the use you made of the outing forced on you.
    And huge thanks for the card which arrived on Friday.

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  7. Goldeneye is a handsome duck.... pity about the industrial dispute.

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  8. Hello David!
    Great series of pictures!
    I haven’t see the Trumpeter Swans before!
    So beautiful birds! Love the seagulls!
    Have a lovely day!
    Dimi...

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  9. Buenas días amigo David, preciosas las aves acuáticas, como siempre es un gran honor leerte y contemplar tus esplendidos reportajes.
    ¡Que lastima que estemos tan lejos! No me había percatado del gran programa de eventos que tienes preparado, es como para apuntarse a todos, tienen que ser recorridos maravillosos. Es una pena para mí no poder realizar un maravilloso viaje.
    Un fuerte abrazo amigo David y otro para Miriam.

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  10. Our winter swans, Whoopers and Bewick's, are also now in residence on the fens of N Cambridgeshire. Goldeneye will be present in the next few weeks, if not there already. I've never seen a Mallard quite like that before though we get many oddities around here as wild ducks cross-breed with some of our "farmyard ducks" (which are descended from Mallards anyway). Many of our Unions also choose holiday-times to go on strike - and also days when there are major sporting events taking place, now I wonder why that might be???

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  11. Thanks David, for showing us the beauty of nature. I do love the Trumpeter Swans.

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  12. Underbara, vackra svanar, det finns något aristokratiskt över dessa ståtliga fåglar. Här flyger de över oss under sen höst på väg mot varmare platser. Jag brukar önska dem lycka till på färden och välkommen åter.

    Är det öppet vatten hela vintern eller flyttar fåglarna vidare?

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    1. Good morning Gunilla: Lake Ontario generally has open water in the winter so these swans stay with us.

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  13. Good to see your combining business with pleasure David. And that you actually managed to get out and about. It's more than I can this week. Each day has seen rain, wind and grey days with more of the same today. Although our swans are around in numbers, with even a few Bewick's, they all seem very shy this year. Hopefully we may be out ringing by Tuesday if the site is not waterlogged.

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  14. Hello, the Trumpeter Swans are beautiful. It is different seeing the tags on the wings rather than around the necks. The Common Goldeneye is a beauty. I hope the strike does not last too long. Enjoy your day, have a great new week!

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  15. Beautiful pictures of these beautiful birds David, always beautiful to see the different species.
    Greetings Tinie

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  16. Hi David.

    Beautiful birds and ducks.
    The Brilduikers are very nice.

    Groettie from Patricia.

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  17. I liked watching Goldeneyes in the lake where I'd traveled this year, David. We in Russia call them common name Gogol (as the family name of the Russian writer). Seems like they have black hats.

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  18. A special looking swan. I have never seen. whooper Swans and mute swans see here often. Have a nice new week

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  19. The Trumpeter Swans are gorgeous. Your inconvience with the postal system turned in to a mini bird adventure if only for a very short time. Excellent photos once again and thanks for sharing a small part of your day with us.
    Have a wonderful rest of the day.

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  20. Great bird photos!
    Seeing migratory birds helps make the cold weather more enjoyable!

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  21. Hola David.

    Hermosas las aves que nos muestras en tu publicación, por aquí (noroeste de España) he tenido el placer de ver y fotografiar a gaviotas americanas como Larus delawarensis y L. smithsonianus, siempre en invierno.

    Un abrazo desde Galicia,

    Rafa.

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  22. I am curious about the swans. Those must be bands on them. We don't get many swans around here, and I am always in awe when I see them, but I have never seen them banded. Of course ours are mute swans and I don't believe they are as rare of the trumpeters. Maybe that explaisn that.

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    1. You are correct, Erika. Mute Swans are not native to North America, but Trumpeter Swans were reintroduced to Ontario after a long absence due to overhunting, and their breeding programme is carefully monitored and the birds are fitted with yellow wing tags.

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  23. Hello! Great photos. Interesting looking leucistic mallard.

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  24. Love your trumpeter swans. I have only seen them once, would not mind seeing them again.

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  25. Hi David!!!.. Very nice series of images .. Happy week ..

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  26. It sounds like the postal service there has issues like ours does here, my Dad was a Postman before he retired and the changes the government were always bringing in caused no end of problems!

    The Mallard looks like it has it's winter jumper on......

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  27. I really like the Trumpeter swans and the Golden Eye. There is always someone on strike here for one reason or aother! Postal stike at Christmas is the pits. Hope that you have a good week, Diane

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  28. Hi Both,
    Interesting to see the Trumpeter swans, always envious as its a swan I have never seen.
    The Mallard is fascinating. such a variation in its leucistic form.
    Hope the post sorts out for Miriam, why do these people always strike in the run up to Christmas.
    All the best, John

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  29. Ooooh, a Golden eye in golden water! I like that species so much, wonderful David. Lovely Trumpeter swans, never seen one but....

    As a postwoman I know there's always some trouble in postal world, unfortunately also for the employees as well as for the customers :-(.

    Kind regards,
    Marianne

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    1. There is a long history of problems between the postal union and management, Marianne. My sympathies for the most part are with the union despite the inconvenience it is causing. It is nowhere near the problem it used to be before we all started to use email, however. We even get most of our bills on line so other than for parcel delivery the inconvenience is not too great.

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  30. Oh David, what a treat. That goldeneye is particularly interesting and for whatever reason, I do love gulls of all kinds. Nice to see they still have open water! Is Miriam's Etsy the mini-made I see on your sidebar? I need to check it out!

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    1. It is indeed the shop on the sidebar, Jeanie. She has just been advised that she has sold more items that 98% of other sellers on ETSY, so she is doing something right. I am looking forward to your posts about your visit to the UK.




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  31. Hello my friend David,
    I only know a few types of swans and that is the lump and the wild swans with the little swans and the black swans. I do not know the swans that you show here. I have seen them with you before with that beautiful black beak and I think they are beautiful too.
    POK the gulls and the Golden-eyed can you catch nice. You're a lucky dog that you see so many beautiful birds ;-)
    A big kiss from your girlfriend from Netherlands ;-)
    xx

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  32. Hope the postal strike soon comes to an end.
    Lovely collection of photographs.

    All the best Jan

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  33. I saw yellow tag attached to Trumpeter Swans (Cygnus buccinator), hopefully they are fine.

    Have a great day

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  34. Beautiful swans, I always admire the beauty!!
    White-winged scoters is so charming.
    Take care and enjoy bird watching!
    Happy weekend!

    Sorry,I am always late visitor.

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  35. i don't see Trumpeter Swans here at the jersey shore but they look "similar" to the mute swans. i'm sure the tags are necessary, as you said to track them, but it does take away from their natural look!!

    the scoters are so cute, you got some great pictures!!!

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