New garden list species

The garden has three times today been visited by a new bird ( #108 for the garden list) and an early bird for the season … Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.

Small blueish-gray backed bird (no, not a Junco) with white chest/belly and clearly seen white outer tail feathers on a long tail. Body shape fairly spherical. Constantly on the move, never still, a bit like a Kinglet in fact. We first saw it around midday but only briefly and we were dubious about the ID – its return to the garden some three hours later gave us a long enough view to confirm the identification. Needless to say, the camera was upstairs and we were glued to our binoculars downstairs on the first two occasions but then it returned again just before 6pm and this time I was ready as the photographs below demonstrate. A beautiful little bird indeed and most unexpected, not at all common.

It’s an early date by about a week or so for the median ‘first seen’ records (PB’s list) but the first Quebec sighting last year was 14 April in St-Bruno and 17 April at Anse-à-l’Orme so it is within the normal range of dates.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

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