22 02, 2018

Parson Spider

By |2018-02-22T10:49:30+00:00February 22nd, 2018|spiders|0 Comments

A new member of the menagerie - coming into the kitchen last night and putting the light on scared the daylights out of a small but smart spider that ran at high speed for the nearest cover. That's a new one, I thought, and so I captured it (later released - don't worry). I believe - confidently - that this is the Parson Spider (Herpyllus ecclesiasticus)   - so named because the abdominal “stripe” on [...]

8 01, 2018

A birder’s lot is quite a happy one

By |2018-01-08T12:05:27+00:00January 8th, 2018|arboretum, birding, birds, MBO, snow, winter|0 Comments

With Apologies to Gilbert & Sullivan When a birder’s not engaged in his employment Or revising his life-listing special plans His capacity for innocent enjoyment Is just as great as any honest man's Our froze-toes we with difficulty smother When feeder filling duty’s to be done We take one consideration with another A birder’s lot is quite a happy one Featured Image (Click to enlarge)

1 01, 2018

First Birds of 2018

By |2018-01-01T15:15:20+00:00January 1st, 2018|birding, birds|0 Comments

Whether or not this is a good omen only the "Merchants of Woo" can tell me, but I was up and out at dawn this New Year's Day to photograph the sun rising over the St-Lawrence River in Baie-D'Urfe (temperature around -24C ... I suffer for my art and birds) when the first birds of the year appeared. Two American Crows flying directly out of the rising sun across the frozen river and calling [...]

24 12, 2017

Christmas Eve doing good …

By |2017-12-31T14:50:07+00:00December 24th, 2017|arboretum, birds, MBO, winter|0 Comments

Christmas Eve and our first shift of the winter filling the bird feeders at the banding station. A couple of friends and we two have divided the next three months up so that the feeders are replenished a couple of times a week at least between now and the end of March when, hopefully, spring will be in sight and regular banding/censusing can restart. Today was simply beautiful at -10C (so not too cold) [...]

26 11, 2017

Mesozoic Birds (with video)

By |2017-11-26T15:16:24+00:00November 26th, 2017|birds, palaeontology|0 Comments

Here's your thought for the day ... Tyrannosaurus rex had feathers and has been described as the "20,000-pound Roadrunner from Hell" . Last year at around this time I took a short online course (University of Alberta Palaeontology Department via Coursera) on the subject of how birds evolved from feathered dinosaurs. Of course, I had known about this for years but hadn’t got into the subject in any depth. Quite fascinating and a [...]

17 11, 2017

Leaf Blowers – Noise Pollution

By |2017-11-18T13:40:47+00:00November 17th, 2017|audio, conservation, garden|3 Comments

This in environmental post so appropriate for the Greenbirding website I think. This morning at 7:30 we were less than pleased to hear the penetrating noise of leaf blowers from a neighbours yard being wielded by their garden contractors. We thought they would be finished soon. We breakfasted, did some chores, went out for an hour and it is now 12:45pm and the blowers are still blasting away. Five hours plus! Is this reasonable? [...]

12 11, 2017

Brambling* Around the Creepery Forest

By |2017-11-12T17:38:05+00:00November 12th, 2017|arboretum, birding, birds, BPQ, cold|2 Comments

Chris and I were leading a group of about 17 BPQ birders around the arboretum this morning. Lovely, bright morning but a good few degrees below zero and a distinct “winter is coming” feel to things. Brding was quiet, as expected, but we nothched up some 18 species (listed below) and everyone got some useful excercise. Roughly one species per person present which seems to be the mark of a sucessful birding trip. I [...]