Early Bird Gets the Worm
The Buffalo Ornithological Society Bird Count was a fantastic experience for us. We had a small role in this survey, in charge of documenting the species seen in the Port Weller and Malcolmson Park areas of St. Catharines, Ontario. The day started off with a beautiful sunrise that seemed to last for an hour. We met with a number of fellow birders at Tim Horton’s early in the morning.
The day started off quite slow, with only a few White-throated Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos scattered along the pathway we ventured down. As we approached the shore of Lake Ontario, we noticed a pile of feathers and remains of what was once a young gull species. As a group, we decided that this was the work of the local Coyote in the area – although we were we not able to spot the culprit on this morning.
During the count, we added a few more birds to our Niagara list for 2015:
- Green Heron
- Peregrine Falcon (Tundra)
- Rusty Blackbird
- Hermit Thrush
- Black-throated green warbler
The Rusty Blackbird was a lifer for both of us! Anytime we spot a bird we have never seen before is always an exhilarating experience. We counted 4 in total, 3 males, and 1 female. To me, the Rusty blackbird looks like a Common Grackle, but with the colouring of a Brown-headed Cowbird.
Choosing the right photo
The photo above of a Golden-crowned Kinglet was taken during our bird count. This image is a perfect example of a mediocre photo, that would not end up in any of our galleries or being printed. The lighting and focus on the bird are decent, and even the birds pose is kind of cute. The main problem with this photo is the distracting orange branch in the foreground and the ultra-busy background of leaves and branches. Even the branch the kinglet is standing on leaves much to be desired. I am planning an upcoming tutorial for our YouTube channel that will discuss our practices of selecting a suitable photo for processing.
Bird Watching Success
Our day was focused on bird watching and counting bird species, with photography taking a back seat. Normally we will spend much more time in a single location, waiting for a clear shot under favourable conditions. We did not take any remarkable photographs of birds, but we did get a solid ID shot on the Peregrine Falcon.
Don’t you mean ‘blog’?
Check out our very first vlog of the Fall BOS Bird Count! We are new to this whole vlogging thing (as you will notice) but we will get better I promise. I may even convince Ashley to talk on camera so you don’t have to look at my ugly mug the entire video!
We look forward to creating more content in the future that will hopefully spark your interest in birding and bird photography!