Friday, October 02, 2009

Niagara Falls - long weekend, Friday afternoon

Well work was done by lunchtime and Helen didn't make the early connection out of Newark so I had an afternoon to kill/some early exploration to do!

First stop then was the Beaver Meadow Audubon reserve south of Buffalo. It turns out the reserve was very very quiet. I did encounter some Killdeer, Canada Geese and some White-throated Sparrows, chirping away at me from cover, showing briefly from time to time:





















I walked for a few miles but saw almost nothing. The staff at the visitor centre confirmed the reserve was now very quiet and even that the Beavers themselves have moved on having exhausted their food supply. So next up I headed for Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge. Refuge in this context is a lie, NWR's are now canned killing zones for the usual idiot + gun combo. Congress changed the law in 1997 so all these specialised, essential nature 'spaces' are now specialised hunting/killing sites. Great!

Anyway I was a week before the 'youth start of the season special event' so thankfully no guns! As I was sat in my car waiting (impatiently) for a client call a Mourning Dove settled on the other side of the mini roundabout. I love the neck plumage in particular, I had no idea they had gold plumage (click for a closer look):
















From the next car park I watched a Cedar Waxwing hawking for dragonflies, and doing very well for itself:





















Along the short riverbank were six pairs of what I believe are Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers:



















Finally as I turned around to head back to Buffalo to collect Helen, an adult White-throated Sparrow again skulking in cover and chirping at me, but with the sunlight I really caught the bird well:











Helen being still on BST we headed from the airport to hotel planning a pre-dawn start on Saturday.

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