As of this morning there are three pairs of Purple Martins settling in at the Baie D'Urfé holiday suite complex ... looks like we got it cleaned out just in time. After ten or fifteen minutes checking each of the 12 options available and chattering noisily to each other and the world in general they more or less made up their minds and then headed off over the water and high to do some feeding. [...]
Sunny and warm today and the ice on the river is breaking up quite rapidly. Took a turn around Ile-Perrot to see if there was anything interesting about. The ice on the northern shore bay which usually attracts ducks in large numbers is still iced-up though so there wasn't much there. Out at the windmill, however, open water was well developed and a small group of Lesser Scaup was hovering near the ice-edge accompanied by the [...]
A “full house” of winter birds fell into my lap this morning and I added two species to my year list for the patch. Having a couple of hours to spare this morning I took myself off to the further reaches of my “West Island Plus” mega-patch (defined as birding within 20 minutes distance) in order to check out the flat fields in the St-Clet area. This is also part of the route we will [...]
Having finally settled on "West Island Plus" as the largest area I will be reporting sightings from this year - all the smaller, local patches of mine are buried within it - I thought it might be time for a map.I like maps ... here's an early draft: Particularly birdy spots are marked with a red star.
We took a riverside stroll this morning at Cap-St-Jacques and came back with a nice collection of birds seen - including a couple of Great Egrets, one lying close overhead and one on shore of Ile Bizard across the river from us. Now I am certain that I have seen those earlier this year on the patch and so I was most surprised on entering the sighting in eBird to discover that seen before, or not, [...]
As previously reported, things are rather hot and doldrummy at the moment with bird activity being spotty at best so when we went for a stroll down to the lake-river shore this afternoon I didn't expect to add a new species to the patch list for the year. We said hello to the Purple Martins that live by the boat club ramp and watched a RB Gull with a damaged wing wandering across the grass [...]
It is getting quite hard in my restricted area to find new species at the moment but nevertheless, we had an excellent morning in the arboretum today. Four, possibly five, male Bobolinks in the southern field and two males and a female in the northern field. Crept along the edges of the field to try to get closer and did manage to get a few better shots than previously plus short snatches of digiscoped video [...]
There has been a Snow Goose floating around the river opposite the Macdonald campus for a few days and eating the shoreside grasses. It's the only Snow Goose I have encountered on my patch this year ... but I have decided not to count it as it appears to have a damaged wing and so is not hanging around here by choice. Getting a tick for that seems somehow not cricket to me.
While waiting for the promised rush back to our forests and fields of migrating songbirds I made a circuit of Ile-Perrot this morning to see if any remnant waterfowl were about ... a really good decision. I will start with the last bird I found. Usually, I concentrate on the northern shoreline of the island and go up to the windmill. I did that, and will return to the subject shortly, but on a whim I also [...]
Two more species for the year list on our patch – Cedar Waxwing (#33) and Red-bellied Woodpecker (#34). I don't know how many times I have seen the rare (eBird designation) Red-bellied Woodpeckers in the arboretum in previous years. I may even have been the first person to see them in mid-winter several years ago and have been tracking their behaviour and the spread of their offspring into surrounding territory ever since. We have even [...]