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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+00:00 January 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+00:00 January 1st, 2018|birding, birds|0 Comments

Christmas Eve doing good …

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) [...]

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

Mesozoic Birds (with video)

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 [...]

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