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 [...]
Photographs follow further down Yesterday was the 76th Hudson Christmas Bird Count and J and I were out all day counting birds on our usual route. I'll get to the day report shortly but first want to ask you to Consider the Horned Lark. Why? Because we found something interesting and I think it will interest you also and encourage you to look more closely at the next group you happen upon. After we [...]
That's New Year-Birds and not New-Year Birds ... Took a visit this morning to the Ste-Anne rapids where there is always a bit of open water due to the rapid movement of the water. Just a few early migrating waterfowl have arrived including Common Goldeneye and Common Mergansers with Ring-billed and Great Black-backed Gulls and Canada Geese. More than somewhat annoyingly, the people in charge have closed off access to the lock-gates with big barriers so [...]
Tonight should be the last really cold night of the winter (by which I mean -20C or below) and yesterday was the first day since January first that either day or night has been marginally above freezing point. The snow is still deep and crisp and even and will be for a few weeks yet unless a miracle happens. The result of this being that finding new birds in the neighbourhood is simply so much wasted [...]
Earlier today I was leading a Bird protection Quebec field trip along the snowshoe trail in the arboretum. By gum, to say nothing of by t’eck (I’m tri-lingual, I speak Yorkshire too when stressed), it were reet cold this morning, proper parky like. But despite that a dozen brave souls turned out for what proved to be a very successful morning’s forest birding. Just the right size for a group outing. We have not organised [...]
The Redpolls have visited the Sparroworks again today - dropped by for luncheon.
We had to visit the EcoMuseum this afternoon so took the opportunity to have a wander round after we had done what had to be done ... lovely sunny, very cold afternoon and lots of the inmates were hibernating but there were enough critters out in the snow to enjoy. Obviously these birds and other beasts are not wild and so don't "count" as they are in a zoo - but a rather special zoo. Run by [...]
This week we are back on-shift for the winter topping up the feeders at the banding station (MBO). This is really nice way to waste a couple of winter hours and today is gloriously sunny and bright but also (the price you pay for the sun) around -18C which is a bit trying to guys with old bones. So, snowshoes strapped on and in we walked to do our duty. The usual gang of regular [...]
We were filling the arboretum bird feeders this morning and happened upon a flock of some 30 or so Common Redpolls ... another year tick. Aleays good to see these winter visitors.
This being a very cold January to date and a non-competitve birding year (for a change) we have not done a huge amount other than count garden birds these past ten days since the new year ... which has given me the opportunity to do a little experiment. My bird photographs are usually taken with a big lens attached to very big DSLR camera body but I also have a DSLR-quality mirrorless camera which is [...]