Scoter and Scaup at Oakville’s Water Works Park: February 2021

I came to this area looking for a reported Snow Bunting. The Bunting has moved on but I did get a great look at a White-winged Scoter. These large winter visitors are usually far out from shore but this lovely female was obviously finding the mollusks, crustaceans or fish that make up a scoter’s diet.

White-winged Scoter (female)
White-winged Scoter (female)
White-winged Scoter (female)
White-winged Scoter (female)

I usually see Greater Scaup in “rafts” far out in the lake but this morning, as I arrived early, many were busy finding the mollusks and plant material that they enjoy.

Common Goldeneye (female) and Greater Scaup (male)
Gull and Greater Scaup
Common Goldeneye (male) and Greater Scaup (female)
Common Goldeneye
Greater Scaup (male) and Bufflehead (male)
Greater Scaup
Greater Scaup (male)
Greater Scaup
Greater Scaup (male)
Greater Scaup (male)
Greater Scaup (female)
Greater Scaup (male)
Greater Scaup
Greater Scaup
Greater Scaup (male)

Some botany:

Ohio Buckeye (Aesculus glabra)
Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
Teasle (Dipsacus fullonum)
Manitoba Maple (Acer negundo)
Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)
Forsythia (Forsythia intermedia)
Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)
Silver Maple (Acer sachharinum)
Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica)
Canada Thistle (Cirsium pratense)

Park scenes:



I got this letter from Gowganda which is over 600 km from Toronto. I visit there occasionally in the month of June while doing Breeding Bird Surveys. I recently asked if they are still feeding the birds.

Hi Miles.

Yes I am…Paul says he is going to go broke! Have used about 450-500 $ of Sunflower…not counting nyger or hulled seeds..or peanuts since Dec 3rd!

I have lots of Pine Grosbeaks. The numbers change depending on weather.

Pine Grosbeak (photo: Audubon Field Guide)

 Black -capped Chickadees are plentiful this year…counted 13 in lilac tree at one time but that was only at side of house at one feeding station.

HUGE numbers of Red-breasted Nuthatchesall over town . Almost Every time and I mean almost every time you look outside one is at the suet and feeder and others at other feeders. (I counted 6 at one time at Gord’s feeder and on the ground was a White-breasted Nut hatch. He didn‘t even know he had one. I was so excited. I was at his place for about 20 minutes and the chickadees and nuthatches did not stop coming and going. It was particularly hectic time as it was the last feed of the day for the birds..)

Also at the nyger and  ground stations are Common Redpolls. ( numbers also fluctuate depending on weather) have had up to 60. Average is 30.


Gray Jays-5

Downy woodpeckersand Hairy woodpeckers.

Two Ravens

Occasional Starling

That’s it since Dec 1st( Nov. was more active with species)

Again, I really enjoy your reports and am looking forward to Spring migration and summer flower reports.

I don’t always comment on your site… but I am there!


Here is a February 24 comment from Gowganda:

Great topic… feeders. Experiences  shared with feed and feeders are always interesting, informative and welcome to feeder watchers!! Regarding the comments of suet cakes; years ago I used to go thru  almost 2 BOXES  of 12 , but something has changed. I am still on the 4 that I put up in Dec. but have gone thru pounds of Suet from the butcher. I have tried so many varieties ….even the ‘insect’ ones but the birds just aren’t interested.


All heaven and earth are still—though not in sleep,
But breathless, as we grow when feeling most;
And silent, as we stand in thoughts too deep:—
All heaven and earth are still.          – George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788–1824) 

Miles Hearn

1 thought on “Scoter and Scaup at Oakville’s Water Works Park: February 2021

  1. Lisa Volkov

    I always enjoy seeing the winter ducks. Beautiful scenery. It’s great seeing the Lake! Also, good to learn about birds, feeders, etc. Thanks, Miles!


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