Saturday, October 30, 2010

LaSalle's Landing Park • October 30

It was a cold, though not windy, morning paddle in the southern end of Irondequoit Bay today. Pretty much considering this to be the last kayak outing of the season, Mary Flood and I wanted to see if we could spot the eagles again, but they were not to be seen. Moving on to our next objective, we approached the mud flat at the southern tip of the bay, hoping to (carefully and responsibly) cruise right up to the feeding birds, like we do in Salmon Creek behind Docksiders. No go! As we reached about the same distance one gets from standing on shore, our kayaks bottomed out. The water was only a couple of inches deep for a *long* way from the mud flat. So, we had to content ourselves with that. At least, we were far enough away that the birds didn't care about us or change their activities in the least. Of interest were a few greater yellowlegs and dunlins. Mixed in with the ocean of ring-bills were a few herring gulls. Under closer inspection we also found a group of a dozen or so Bonaparte's gulls in the mixed flock. Intrigued by a couple occasional cormorants that flew overhead, we headed out into the bay to look at the suspected cormorant rookery. However, before getting anywhere near the site, we discovered a large raft of 200+ cormorants in the water directly ahead of us! We were still at some distance on open water, and I was in a bright yellow kayak, so sneaking up on the birds was not really an option. :-) So, we carefully paddled closer to the raft, alert for any nervous behavior that would signal we were close enough and to stop. However, it didn't really work out that way. They saw us coming and merely swam away at the same speed to keep us from closing range. (We were quite far away.) Suddenly, they launched and gave us a thrilling flyover. After an hour or so on the water, it started getting too cold to ignore anymore, so we headed in and called it a successful season of birding by kayak! :-)

 Ring-billed gull

Ring-billed gull

Herring gull

Greater yellowlegs

Greater yellowlegs

Greater yellowlegs

Dunlin. Note the long bill that slightly droops at the end.

Dunlins

Bonaparte's gull

Double-crested cormorants (a small portion of a huge raft of these birds)

Mute swan

Location:     Lasalle Landing Park
Observation date:     10/30/10
Notes:     Kayaking in the southern tip of Irondequoit Bay
Number of species:     16

Canada Goose     50
Mute Swan     25
Mallard     2
Double-crested Cormorant     200
Great Blue Heron     1
Red-tailed Hawk     1
Killdeer     2
Greater Yellowlegs     5
Dunlin     3
Bonaparte's Gull     12
Ring-billed Gull     200
Herring Gull     5
Belted Kingfisher     1
Blue Jay     3
American Crow     1
European Starling     4

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2( http://ebird.org)