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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+00:00 November 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+00:00 November 5th, 2017|arboretum, BIGBY, birding, birds|0 Comments

Join us on an Autumn Walk in the Forest

A very mild and unusually wet year followed by a far too warm start to autumn and a few weeks of unexpected dry weather has played around with the arrival of the real, Quebec autumn colours in the trees which ought to have been past their peak by now but in fact are only this week starting to develop. This won't be an outstanding year for colour as we are anticipating leaves will fall [...]

By | 2017-10-20T23:03:37+00:00 October 19th, 2017|arboretum, autumn, birds|0 Comments

Northern Crescents and Trail Maps

There were some exceptionally heavy storms in this part of Quebec yesterday so we changed our usual “Wednesday Wander” in the Arboretum to a walk of equivalent distance along the riverside in Cap-St-Jacques - for the exercise and to see what was around. A couple of years ago I added a Guide to West Island Birding Sites to my small collection of free guidebooks. I think it is useful and lots of people have [...]

By | 2017-08-23T15:40:26+00:00 August 23rd, 2017|birds, butterflies, insects, trails|0 Comments

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+00:00 August 18th, 2017|birding, birds, landscape, photography|3 Comments

Grand Manan/Fundy 2017 – #5: Burrowing Owl, Nelson’s Sparrow, a Forest, Indian Pipes & Misty Cliffs

This is the penultimate chapter in the account of island life. There will be a later addendum account of some interesting plants recorded, but for the birders and whalers we finish tomorrow with PUFFINS. Wednesday was a fascinating mix of good things, so there is a quite an eclectic mix here for you to enjoy. Stating with a visit to a saltmarsh reserve (Castalia Marsh) on the eastern shore of the island where a [...]

By | 2017-08-17T14:25:55+00:00 August 17th, 2017|birds, butterflies, flowers, landscape|1 Comment

Grand Manan/Fundy 2017 – #4: Seabirds, Whales (and Rick Mercer)

(The Puffins are coming - just not today.) This was a BIG day with lots happening. Tuesday had been forecast from a week beforehand to be wet - usually that means one of the days either side will be wet instead, but as the date approached it became clear rain really was in our future. The scheduled trip that day was to Machias Island for Puffins and Seals but fortunately Quest managed to renegotiate [...]

By | 2017-08-16T12:49:31+00:00 August 16th, 2017|birds, flowers, landscape|1 Comment

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+00:00 August 15th, 2017|birding, birds, flowers|0 Comments

Grand Manan/Fundy 2017 – #2: Sandpipers and Flowerpots and a Reversing River

If you are here for the Puffins, they will be appearing in considerable number (and in video) in the last post of this series :) ... but today we offer you spectacular video of 30,000 Sandpipers instead. The week started in Moncton and along the coast of the upper Fundy Bay - perhaps the muddiest place on the planet. Moncton is not a scenic city but it does have a very, very good seafood [...]

By | 2017-08-14T18:13:37+00:00 August 14th, 2017|birding, birds, summer|6 Comments

Grand Manan/Fundy 2017 – Prologue

Lots of Photographs, lots of birds and a few whales and butterflies. We have just returned from a stupendous week of (mostly) intensive birding plus a bit of botanising in the Bay of Fundy that produced some amazing photographic opportunities we would like to share with our friends.  Usually, after these trips we produce a lengthy “trip report” but, let's face it, they can be just a bit too long for some, otherwise interested, [...]

By | 2017-08-13T11:40:58+00:00 August 13th, 2017|birding, birds, butterflies, insects, landscape|6 Comments