Year’s End Birding 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 [...]

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

Ready for the Purple Martins

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 [...]

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

Listing … but at the same time, not listing

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 [...]

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

A birder’s lot is quite a happy one

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)

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

First Birds of 2018

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 [...]

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

Brambling* Around the Creepery Forest

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 [...]

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

Bird Observation Probabilities

The data provided to us by eBird is enormously helpful to birders but sometimes they don't supply just what you want to have. This being a cold and damp day, quite unsuitable for comfortable outdoor productive birding, I decided to see if I could extract some data I think would be particularly useful. So - here's the question. What is the probability of seeing species-X at site-Y in a given month or season? eBird don't [...]

By |2017-11-05T15:36:12+00:00November 5th, 2017|arboretum, BIGBY, birding, birds|0 Comments

On “Brambling” – a peaceful activity

When groups of birders go out on an organised walk in the wild looking for birds the activity is usually called a field trip. For some reason I have never really liked this term, though I use it all the time, as I feel a field trip ought to be more science directed than these pleasant gatherings usually are. When J and I go out birding we spend at least as much time as [...]

By |2017-10-15T09:38:37+00:00October 15th, 2017|birding, field trip|1 Comment

Grand Manan/Fundy 2017 – #6: Dawn light, Puffins, Seals and Turnstones

SO … Finally, the chapter you have all been waiting for. We’ve had Whales and Owls and scenic views and 30,000 Sandpipers but now, at last, we have PUFFINS. Very much the target species for quite a few of the group. You asked, and we deliver. This last day of the tour was a very early start … dawn was still breaking as the boat left the harbour (just feast [...]

By |2017-08-18T22:10:57+00:00August 18th, 2017|birding, birds, landscape, photography|3 Comments

Grand Manan/Fundy 2017 – #3: Blacks Harbour and first seabirds

This is a shorter piece and a somewhat quieter day before we get to the half-day "pelagic" trip that I will recount - with many photographs - tomorrow. After that? We have a Burrowing Owl waiting for you ... yes, in New Brunswick! Stick with us. After the Sandpipers on Monday morning (see yesterday’s post) we passed a few hours in driving from the Moncton area down to St-John and beyond there to Black’s Harbour [...]

By |2017-08-15T20:42:27+00:00August 15th, 2017|birding, birds, flowers|0 Comments