Following a tip off from Michel, I visited one of the vernal pools on the Macdonald Farm fields this morning and added a nice pair of Gadwall to the year list with a bonus Killdeer thrown in for nothing. A rather understated but handsome bird, the Gadwall. Couldn't get very close to them but these pictures aren't too band, I think. Sadly, that pool will dry up before long and the farm will be ploughing [...]
The snow is gone, the days are warming up and the birds are slowly getting into spring mode ... so naturally, the pump is back in the Sparroworks pond and the bird-magnet waterfall is operating for another year. Here's one of the first of many users ... cooling off at the end of the day.
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 [...]
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 ...
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 [...]
I just re-found this short video that I took in the garden a bit over three years ago ... just the thing to cheer us all up on a cold January in Quebec. http://youtu.be/o9zwDb0ZC_0
The Common Grackle is not a lovely bird. It is without a doubt smart and shiny but it's a bully, goes about in gangs, makes a horrible noise and is basically a thug. Nevertheless, it does come back to this area early in the year and now that the snow is melting so we can probably forgive it its sins for a while ...
First Red-winged Blackbirds (at last) in the garden, to say nothing of "our" Carolina Wren ... Earlier today I posted a "snow storm - non birding" entry to this journal and then sat looking out the window for a couple of hours. Well, I shouldn't have been so ready to be gloomy about the weather because early afternoon three Red-winged Blackbirds dropped in together to snack on seeds thrown down from our feeders by the smaller [...]
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, [...]
A brief local foray today after a night of mixed rain and snow that left the snow as deep as ever but decidedly slushy. Notably reduced numbers of Dark-eyed Juncoes and American Tree Sparrows plus a small flush of first returning Red-winged Blackbirds are welcome harbingers of the spring to come. A couple of Red-tailed Hawks circling in the sky, a large flock of Cedar Waxwings and quite a few House Finches. The birds were [...]