29 12, 2018

Year’s End Birding Comments

By |2018-12-29T14:55:01+00:00December 29th, 2018|birding, birds|0 Comments

A friend of mine, one of the two best birders I know and a chap who has devoted his life to getting out looking at birds has published his annual birding round-up on his blog. [It’s a good read - here]. He is guilty of sparking me to write the following thoughts on some comments he made on different approaches to birding. I am focussing on this paragraph:  "Non-birders and birder-lite’s don’t appreciate what [...]

2 12, 2018

Arboretum Trail Guide – Coming Soon

By |2018-12-02T14:54:12+00:00December 2nd, 2018|arboretum|0 Comments

Seeking your ideas and input ... Following the success of the Guide to Birding in the Arboretum that was released a couple of years ago, the final touches are being put to an arboretum trail guide that is planned to be available before the spring. It will be in the form of a PDF or EPUB file plus an accompanying smartphone app. This guide (which will be free) will introduce all the main, named, [...]

20 06, 2018

Loss of Habitat in Baie-D’Urfé

By |2018-06-20T13:58:08+00:00June 20th, 2018|Baie-D'Urfé, conservation, environment|1 Comment

The Quebec Government have just published a very interesting interactive map of the province which shows the changes in various habitat types for the period from about 1990 to 2009 ... what has happened since 2009 we can only surmise, but it's fair to say it hasn't got any better. Here are some parts of the map for the Baie-D'Urfé municipality - of particular interest as it's where I live. Basically green is [...]

12 06, 2018

Working at the Copse – June Update

By |2018-06-17T12:12:17+00:00June 12th, 2018|arboretum|0 Comments

It's June at The Copse The "Forest Gardeners", a subset of the Friends of the Morgan Arboretum, have been working in and around the Copse area of the Arboretum to make sure that all of the plantings we placed last summer have come through the winter and are thriving. Today when we arrived in warm, but not too warm, sunshine we found that an Indigo Bunting was serenading us from the nearby trees and [...]

16 05, 2018

The Copse – First Anniversary (+ some birds)

By |2018-05-16T15:34:17+00:00May 16th, 2018|arboretum, birds, flowers, montreal, spring|0 Comments

Last May, constant readers will recall, I wrote here ( about the start of a project in the Arboretum to plant and develop a so-called "Copse" of trees and shrubs that will bear a constant crop of native fruits for wildlife. As we went into winter the plantings had been completed, paths and a boundary had been defined and laid and there were even berries on the winterberry bushes to feed birds and small [...]

11 05, 2018

Reed Bunting … or in Canada perhaps a Sparrow?

By |2018-05-11T17:43:58+00:00May 11th, 2018|birds, photography|0 Comments

Last week we were in England and while there were able to enjoy a visiting female Reed Bunting ((Emberiza schoeniclus) at a friend's feeder array. That's its picture above. Coming from Canada where there really are no "real" sparrows and where most so-called Sparrows are taxonomically Buntings, like the featured lady here, you could probably be forgiven if, catching only a quick glimpse, you thought that you had just seen an errant Song Sparrow in [...]

23 04, 2018

Ready for the Purple Martins

By |2018-04-23T10:56:55+00:00April 23rd, 2018|Baie-D'Urfé, birding, birds|0 Comments

Together with Jean Demers from Bird Protection Quebec this morning we lowered and cleaned out the Purple Martin house on the lakeshore grounds of the Baie-D'Urfé town hall and prepared it for the soon to be returning birds. This PUMA "condo" was donated to the town three years ago by BPQ and is an important addition to the support system for these vulnerable birds. The featured picture heading this post shows the tenants living [...]

19 04, 2018

“Our” Fox Sparrow

By |2018-04-19T21:10:07+00:00April 19th, 2018|Baie-D'Urfé, birds, garden|0 Comments

Fox Sparrows are not the commonest of the sparrows around here. Normally they pass through the area in a 10-14 day burst in spring and then back again after breeding. They nest in the forests north of Montreal. Numbers reported are usually quite low ... they normally start to build up about now and then are through and gone by the start of May. Occasional birds are seen during winter if and where they [...]

11 04, 2018

Listing … but at the same time, not listing

By |2018-04-11T15:13:27+00:00April 11th, 2018|birding, birds|0 Comments

As I roar down the home straight to  achieving seventiness on the other side of summer, I have to make a dreadful admission. I'm a biologist. I'm a birder. I keep lists, because, well LISTS! That's what the above two groups do and anyway, I like lists. But somehow I am not quite so consumed by the ticks as I once was ... I will always keep lists because the good statisticians at eBird [...]

21 03, 2018

Two Books for Sharing

By |2018-03-21T17:26:58+00:00March 21st, 2018|biology, books, conservation, plants|0 Comments

Over the winter months I have read and enjoyed two stunning and very different books, one at the start of winter and one at the end, that each spoke to me and the way I view and interact with natural things. We all have sources that we enjoy and learn from, but these two are ones that I want to share and encourage all my friends to try to find and read too (it [...]