Unless something really unusual turns up over the winter we won't be posting weekly Feederwatch updates here, but thought it interesting to at least share the first recordings of the annual season. We scored 14 species, most of them regulars but worthy of note is the continuing presence of a small flock of House Finches accompanied by a solitary female Purple Finch and the presence of a White-throated Sparrow. WTSparrows have usually gone by this date [...]
Reports are coming in from all over the west-of-Montreal area of a strong movement of winter finches heading back north this morning - one friend talks of 70 Pine Siskins interering with his photography as they land on his head !! All very exciting. Another friend driving up to Montreal from the US border notes that huge flocks of Siskins are on the move today having over-wintered just south of the border in Vermont and [...]
Our semi-resident Pileated Woodpecker made creative use this morning of the niger-seed feeder we have put for small finches
A thriving nesting colony of Purple Martins have been busy on the lakeshore beside the Baie-D'Urfé town hall for many years now, raising young in a nesting unit raised on a tall pole near the water. Their old “condo-building” has been showing its age for a while now and the pole it is mounted on was being eaten away by rust. Five pairs of adults succeeded in raising young in the summer of 2015. [...]
A few days ago a Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher appeared in the garden three times over a six hour period (see report and photographs earlier on this blog - 18 April). It caused a bit of excitement amongst local birders as it is a more than somewhat unusual bird for this part of the world - not unknown, but scarce. Today it reappeared and gave an opportunity to get some better photographs ... headed off to the [...]
Early this morning we heard the first White-throated Sparrow of the year and then just after noon one turned up on the feeders. Very smart birds ...
We will only be doing this until the end of the month when banding gets under way again, but this morning we went up to the MBO to top up the feeders. Last year there was a lot of bird activity but generally speaking this winter there have only been the regular Chickadees with occasional guest appearances by other species. There have been signs of a thaw recently, or at least I can say temperatures [...]
The Redpolls have adopted the new niger feeder we have put up in the garden near the window we watch from ... and a small flock of Bohemian Waxwings visible in a neighbour's garden are new year ticks for our garden list (garden list defined as a bird visible from the garden which, given the number of trees around here, is not that far away.
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 [...]
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 [...]