Monday, July 1, 2013


I had a site visit to do a couple weeks ago and swung by Eastport Drive where I hoped to catch some sights of young Sea Gulls and Cormorants.  I should have brought ear plugs!  Wow, it is incredibly loud!

Ring-Billed Gull on nest.

The only immediate evidence of the Ring-Billed Gull colony are a huge row of sentinels along the jersey barrier.  I should have taken a picture of this.  On the other side, amongst the weeds and rip-rap down to the water's edge of Hamilton Harbour are thousands of gull nests with spacings of often less then a meter.  There are gulls of all stages ranging from eggs to larger, soon to fledge young.  Some eggs were being tended to by sitting parents, some were abandoned, and still others had holes evidencing sabotage by other gulls or having been eaten by some predator.

Ring-Billed gull eggs.

Ring-Billed Gull chick.

Fish meal for a Ring-Billed Gull.

As I mentioned, the location is also known for the huge colony of Double-Created Cormorants.  Below you can see a small taste of the thousands or birds.

Eastport Drive Colony

Cormorants feed their young regurgitated food.  This can't be a pleasant way to get your lunch!!

Double-Crested Cormorant feeding its young.  You can
just see the bright blue inside of its mouth here.

Double-Crested Cormorant nest with young.

Double-Crested Cormorant

The location is also quite reliable for seeing Black-Crowned Night Herons.  They are more shy than the seagulls who let you walk within a meter or two and the cormorants.  There were three hidden in the trees, behind vegetation which remains on the trees closest to the road where the cormorant's feces aren't dropped.  There feces are deadly to the trees they nest in.

Black-Crowned Night-Heron

Being close to the Burlington Lift Bridge, I stopped there briefly to see if the in my short time left I could spot the Peregrine Falcons.  There were a few other Falcon watchers there and I had timed my visit well (obviously without knowing) as one of the female young had just fledged that morning.  She had taken up hiding inside one of the beams but we found her perched beside an opening.  Though not a picturesque location, it was exciting to see this amazing creature up close.  Turns out though, that however the young bird got in there, it wasn't a simple matter of getting out.  If you're interested, you can read about the ordeal here.  Good news is, all ended well.

female fledgling Peregrine Falcon

 One of the adults was seemingly uninterested in the plight of its offspring was way up in one of the big hydro towers preening away.

Peregrine Falcon adult preening in the hydro tower on the Hamilton side.

I am getting really behind on my posts.  I just checked the date of these pictures and it was back on June 4th!  My posts have fallen to almost a month behind!  Oh well.  More pictures to come.

Keep enjoying His handiwork!

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