The river is pushing out a bit more ice each day and the opportunities for seeing waterfowl are diminishing so it seemed opportune to take a tour of the neighbourhood to see who was still about.
Primarily we did a circle of Ile Perrot by car plus a good walk around the Parc-du-Moulin at the tip of the island. This is within our self-imposed 7km wildlife circle … or, as I may rename it after reading a rather pretentious blog by an American birder, my “study area”. The bulk of the ducks etc were on the northern side of the island just west of the park where there are some sheltered bays conveniently along the roadside. A few Canada Geese, plenty of Mallards (of course) but also three Pintails, lots of Scaup, Bufflehead, Goldeneye, Common Mergansers etc. Just off the windmill a young Double-crested Cormorant was fishing while in the park were lots of Northern Cardinals and the other usual species. Driving back along Don-Quichotte across the farm fields we picked up three Red-tailed Hawks and were nearly rear-ended by a truck as we stopped to get grainy photographs … why do trucks follow so closely, especially on slippery roads when it should be obvious you are going slowly and birding – I mean, who isn’t?.
Along the waters edge the ice was forming on grasses and low-lying tree branches where the river waves splashed them. Can’t be long now.
And we bought a Christmas tree.
Here are some pictures – click thumbnails for larger versions in a gallery. I need to find a way to diminish vibration in the digiscoping rig and it looks like an electronic shutter release will have to be my gift from Santa. Note that some of the ducks were photographed at pretty extreme range.