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

“What a Dump!”

Overnight we enjoyed 32cm of snow on the West Island which, according to Environment Canada, is almost three times the previous record for this date at a mere 12cm - and it's still snowing. No complaints, this is Quebec and we have proper winters here, but it is also half way through March, the snow was melting, snowdrops were poking their heads out and birds were returning ... rather too early it seems. A couple [...]

By | 2017-03-15T15:58:04+00:00 March 15th, 2017|birds, snow, winter|1 Comment

Snowshoe birds

This morning saw us setting forth for the first time this winter on snowshoes in beautiful -16C sunshine to do our scheduled shift at the MBO filling up the bird feeders. This is quite the highlight of our winter activities with sun, snow, birds and nobody else around. There was still ice from the freezing rain of mid-week on the trees and it was glistening in the light. Nothing special in the way of birds other [...]

By | 2017-01-07T14:53:33+00:00 January 7th, 2017|birds, green birding, greenbirding, snow, Uncategorized, winter|0 Comments

A winter-bird full house …

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 [...]

By | 2014-12-16T14:45:18+00:00 December 16th, 2014|birding, birds, owls, patch, snow, winter|0 Comments

On the second (or third) day of spring …

Depending on how you count it and where you live on the planet, today is the second or third day of spring ... and outside it is snowing hard with 20cm or more promised by the end of the day. The migrating birds are stuck hundreds of miles to the south. Hopefully all those 100+ new daffodils I planted last fall are under the white stuff ready to go when the sunlight hits them. Meanwhile, [...]

By | 2014-03-22T12:24:33+00:00 March 22nd, 2014|birds, climate change, cold, snow, spring, winter|0 Comments

A new patch bird #35

Last week we took some photographs of large bird foot prints in the snow just on the edge of the arboretum. Finally, I have identified them ... Ruffed Grouse which is species #35 for the patch and #40 for the year.  A couple of years ago I photographed one of these birds not much more than 100 yards from where these footprints were seen. I will get a sighting later now I know they are [...]

By | 2014-03-20T16:38:22+00:00 March 20th, 2014|arboretum, BIGBY, birding, birds, snow|0 Comments


Apparently 25% of the snow fall each winter around here comes after March 1 ... and yesterday's dump provided about 200% of that 25%.  A cheery chap from Environment Canada said that we shouldn't grumble because it is the transition between winter and spring temperatures that creates ideal conditions for snow and thus a big March dump means spring is on its way. Right. Anyway, the white stuff finally stopped late morning after over 24 [...]

By | 2014-03-13T14:06:00+00:00 March 13th, 2014|arboretum, birds, cold, MBO, snow|1 Comment

Snow Buntings and Snowy Owls

Snow Bunting photographs are thrown into the mix today as well as photographs of eight from some of 11 Snowy Owls seen this morning thanks to the assistance of my friend Mark (thanks, Mark) who kindly acted as my guide this morning. Mark has been out looking at Snowy Owls and documenting their presence west of Montreal since the big influx started this winter and has then all well pinned down. So this was not [...]

By | 2014-02-11T15:48:23+00:00 February 11th, 2014|birding, birds, digiscoping, owls, snow, wildlife, winter|2 Comments

Early winter

We had several inches of early snow a few days ago which came as a surprise. The seasonal average daytime temperature for this date is +1C but we are actually enjoying is -6C (-12C at breakfast time) and windchill of -11C. Out on the river down the road the bays are starting to get a skim of ice over them and the Canada Geese are huddling and whinging to each other.  Can't be long before [...]

By | 2013-11-29T14:42:57+00:00 November 29th, 2013|birds, cold, snow, winter|0 Comments