Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Birds of AMOC Camp (WBW)

1. bald eagle-kab Bald Eagle 8-1-11

I spent 6 days on the shore of Lake Ontario near Olcott, NY last week. While I was there I counted birds every day and often several times a day. Here is the list of all the birds I saw while on the grounds of AMOC camp. I counted a total of 38 species and while I have photos of some, I do not have photos of all.

2. Wells hall-kab Wells Hall

My days started with stepping out the door of Wells Hall where my Mom, sister and I slept. In this area, which is closer to the road, I would often see and hear Black-capped Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatches, and Chipping Sparrows. I frequently saw Northern Flickers and American Robins here too. And this is the only area where I saw one lone Red-winged blackbird fly by!

3. Bank Swallow Bank Swallow 8-1-11

One of the very first birds I saw when we arrived Saturday, July 21st was a flock of Bank Swallows swooping over the shoreline. More about them later.


4. Juvenile Herring gull-kab Of course, gulls were seen every day and I believe this one is a juvenile Herring Gull due to its overall profile, the spotty look to its body and the pattern on its wings. But I will say right here that I am not an expert on gulls and I am still learning. Most of the gulls I saw this week were juveniles, though I did see a few adults.

5. trail to beach-kab Path to beach area.

On the second night I was there I followed this path down to the shore traipsing through stinky mud in search of birds. At the bottom I was rewarded with a view of the Bank Swallows nesting site. (More about this later).

6. AMGO-kab American Goldfinch 7-31-11 @ 6:46PM EDT

In the sumac and thistle that lined the cliff edge I found American Goldfinches, Gray Catbirds, Yellow Warblers and 2 species of vireos. This whole shoreline was populated with song sparrows which I heard and saw every day.

7. sunset-kab Sunset on Lake Ontario 7-31-11 @ 7:00PM EDT

I saw the most gorgeous sunset as I turned and headed back up the trail. It was the best sunset of the whole week and I took several pictures.

8. up the trail With the sunset behind me, this is what the trail look like before me @ 7 PM.


9. great blue herons-kab Great Blue Heron Silhouettes 7-31-11 @ 7:06PM EDT


10. Canada geese-kab Canada Geese 7-31-11 @ 7:21PM EDT


11. stump on cliff-kab Where we sat by the cliff looking out over the lake 8-1-11

The next morning my sister and I grabbed out chairs and our stuff, and made ourselves some tea. Then we hauled it all out here by the edge of the lake where we sat with me as close to this fence as possible. I wanted to do this because I wanted to be able to see down to the beach below. It is probably a good 50 foot drop down to the water and I knew it was the only place I could see the beach.

Bank swallow beach-kab  Bank Swallow Beach

I call this place Bank Swallow Beach because the Bank Swallows nest in this almost vertical cliff. While sitting here watching, not only did a Belted Kingfisher fly by, but a Spotted Sandpiper landed briefly at the water’s edge. I got so excited that I think I gasped while reaching for my camera and it flew off. Enthusiasm is a good think but not so good when you are trying to photograph birds!


12. song sparrow-kab Song sparrow on fence with insect in beak 8-1-11

While I sat watching and waiting my sister decided to go for a run. For awhile I was here alone listening to the persistent cry of a bird. I thought, at first, it might be some empid or flycatcher of some sort due to the sound it was making. Then I found the bird and saw it was some kind of sparrow. I was hoping it was some sparrow species I had never see before but when this parent Song Sparrow flew over to feed the crying chick I concluded it was a juvenile Song Sparrow. You can see it’s photo in the previous post.


13. crows-kab American Crows 8-1-11

I could some crows cawing while I sat there and soon this pair flew by. My mother came and joined me and as we were sitting there talking I caught the motion of some dark bird flying overhead. Just as i looked up I saw it disappear over the treetops to the northeast and I thought I saw a white tail. I was just telling my mom what I thought I saw when suddenly the eagle came soaring back!

14. bald eagle-kab Bald Eagle flying NE along shoreline 8-1-11

After flying west it turned and came back again disappearing over the treetops once more. We got such good looks at it! Later in the week I was standing in this same location when a juvenile Bald Eagle flew along the same aerial track. I can only assume they have a nest somewhere nearby.

15. ring-billed gull-kab Juvenile ring-billed gull 8-1-11

I believe this is a juvenile ring-billed gull due to its pink bill tipped with black, its more delicate profile, and that black trailing edge to its wings, as well as the more dark and contrasting wing tips.

16. campground-kab Camp grounds behind Tabernacle 8-2-11

On the morning of the 2nd I got up around 6:30 a.m. and headed out to watch birds. I hiked all over the campgrounds from Wells Hall to the shore and along the fenceline northeast to an orchard where I turned and headed back along a dirt road through the middle of the camp.

17. songsparrow I saw yet another song sparrow…

18. Chimney swift-kab …a chimney swift…


19. downy woodpecker-kab …a female downy woodpecker…


20. song sparrow-kab …and another song sparrow!


21. house finch-kab On the way back toward the dining hall I found my first house finch perched on a wire!

22. MODO-kab Mourning Dove 8-2-11

And right near it a Mourning Dove catching the first rays of the morning sun!


23. fenceline-kab Fence Line along shore cliff

I saw so many birds from this area looking out over the lake.

24. caspian tern-kab This is a Caspian Tern, though you can’t see its head in this photo.


24. cormorants-kab Double-crested Cormorants 8-2-11


25. canada geese-kab Canada Geese 8-2-11


25. red-tailed hawk-kab Red-tailed Hawk 8-2-11


26. tuvu-kab Turkey Vulture 8-3-11


27. HEGU-kab Juvenile Herring Gull 8-4-11

Most gulls take three to four years to reach their adult plumage. You can clearly see the prominent scowling forehead of the Herring Gull in this photo though.

27. RTHU-kab Ruby-throated Hummingbird 8-4-11


28. SOSP-kab Song sparrow on its favorite perch!


29. sunset-kab

Lake Ontario; what a beautiful place to watch birds!


Please click on the picture to see more amazing birds!

Birds Seen at AMOC from July 30th through August 4, 2011:

  1. Barn Swallow
  2. Bank Swallow
  3. Northern Flicker
  4. Purple Martin
  5. Chipping Sparrow
  6. Ring-billed Gull
  7. Cedar Waxwing
  8. American Goldfinch
  9. American Robin
  10. Black-capped Chickadee
  11. American Crow
  12. Gray Catbird
  13. Herring Gull
  14. Red-eyed Vireo
  15. Great Blue Heron
  16. Song Sparrow
  17. Yellow Warbler
  18. Canada Goose
  19. White-breasted Nuthatch
  20. Red-winged Blackbird
  21. Mourning Dove
  22. Double-crested Cormorant
  23. Bald Eagle
  24. Spotted Sandpiper
  25. Belted Kingfisher
  26. Chimney Swift
  27. Downy Woodpecker
  28. Northern Cardinal
  29. House Finch
  30. House Sparrow
  31. European starling
  32. Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  33. Green heron
  34. Caspian Tern
  35. Red-tailed Hawk
  36. Eastern Kingbird
  37. Warbling Vireo
  38. Turkey Vulture

All birding data was submitted to eBird from which this list was compiled. Species appear in the order of this location’s Life List for me.


  1. Wow! that Bald Eagle photo is a real corker!I like the sun/cloud scenery too.

  2. You sure know your birds! While the American Goldfinch is probably the one of the most seen and best known I think that photo is really neat - him all nestled in among the fluff. Great shot. I like the sparrow with the insect too. They are all nice but these are my favorites. Thanks for sharing your images.

  3. Awesome~I want to go back to Maine..love it there..
    You sure have a nice list of birds for your visit.

  4. Sinbad, why thank you! What nice things to say. sure glad you enjoyed this post!

  5. Dawn, tee hee! I was in NY, not Maine! Still, I did see a lot of birds and had a really good time! (You must be reading very fast!)

  6. Yes..I am reading with my eyes closed ..ha..but yes..NY..I love NY..but not a much as I love Maine...and I was at the Seafood Ketch too..but wasnt so impressed...never did get to that lighthouse...
    So much to see while in Acadia..but I digress..
    Nice get together with your family..and nice birdies too.

  7. Wow! So many birds you have captured! I love them all, especially the flying ones, amazing!

  8. Kathie, wonderful list of birds. I love the eagle shot. Love the scenery and the sunset shot. Beautiful photos.

  9. Hi there - thats a great set of pictures. As has been said above I like the birds in flght shots.

    Cheers - Stewart M

  10. Kathie, you were able to get a lot of wonderful aerial shots this trip!! The advantage of being up on a cliff? Sounds as though you had a wonderful visit. Song sparrows are irresistible, aren't they? They have such presence! ~karen

  11. Lots of interesting shots here Kathie, beautiful sunset images and unusual to see Canada geese flying so low over the water.

  12. Kathie, what a lovely place and so many birds for you and us to enjoy. Great captures.

  13. Great post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  14. Hi Kathie

    What a wonderful collection of birds you saw. I really liked your photos of the American Goldfinch and the Ruby-throated Hummingbird a really nice post.


  15. What a great selection of birds Kathie, and pictures too.
    It looks a stunning place to be, and visit.

  16. wow!! what a lot of sightings!! such gorgeous pictures...i love the eagle...we see them around here when we drive over to the lake...they're so magnificent!
    and the goldfinch!! oh, i love that picture...and the red tailed hawk...and the dove...and the swift...and the...oh, heck!! i LOVE them all!
    OH, and i also would like to slide down that bank on my butt!! don't worry...i won't bother the nesting swallows! :)

  17. A wonderful series of images.
    I love your flight shots.

  18. This really gives a feeling of just how immense a body of water Lake Ontario is. I had no idea there where such cliffs in that area. Love the goldfinch picture and of course the stellar Bald eagle sighting. Your clicking finger must have been worn out when it was finally time to break camp! Nice post Kathie!

  19. Great total of birds for your visit and the in-flight photos are especially good.

  20. Beautiful post! Your photos are wonderful!

  21. Wow you took some great photos of your beloved birds. I hope you are having a great time.

  22. A beautiful post with great photos.

  23. A wonderful post and a stunning set of images. Beautiful work.

  24. Sounds like you had a real vacation, Kathie. Wonderful photos, especially the Bald Eagle!

  25. What a wonderful place for birding! So many great captures - I enjoyed your post immensely!


Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.