Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Lake Ontario & Kittiwakes

Despite being almost 600km from the nearest open ocean, the west end of Lake Ontario does surprisingly well for several species of migratory 'sea' gulls and jaegers (skuas). Over the past three weeks there have been some impressive tallies. These have included at least 2 Pomarine Jaegers, 7 or more Long-tailed Jaegers and in excess of 45 Parasitic Jaegers! In addition, at least 10 Sabine's Gulls and 5 Black-legged Kittiwakes (in one flock) have been recorded. Throw in the odd Red-necked Phalarope or Surf Scoter and you have the kind of list most actual seawatchers would be proud of. Ok, so you're probably not gonna see any shearwaters or auks - or whales for that matter, but in terms of anticipatory excitement, it's hard to beat. Don't competely rule out those real seabirds either, there have been recent records of Manx Shearwater, Black-capped Petrel, Gannet, Wilson's Storm Petrel, Fulmar, Razorbill and Ancient Murrelet!

Most of the birds seen during lake-watches are well beyond my camera's reach - for some fine jaeger shots by a proper photographer, have a look here. However, this weekend's influx of five Black-legged Kittiwakes have been much more photogenic. The last few days they have been cruising along the shoreline, often within 15 metres of the beach. This one was at Confederation Park today.


Vanessa said...

these are fantastic shots!!

Dan said...

Nice! More updates please :)