Gradually birds are arriving and four species have been added to my year list – all of these at the arboretum.

Bird of the day, undoubtedly, was a Great-horned Owl (#65) on her nest. I had seen the nest a few weeks ago but the owl wasn’t there at the time and so this was not a hard bird to find (and no, the location is not to be shared in this forum other than to say that it is in the arboretum somewhere, but I would be happy to take birders to see it) but a very nice one. The adult was most cooperative and just sat and stared at me.

Great Horned Owl on nest

Great Horned Owl on nest


The rest of this morning’s photographs will be placed in a gallery further down the page in order to save space for you – just click a thumbnail to open up full size.

I was in the arboretum with a couple of friends to man a recruitment stall for Bird Protection Quebec – seemed to be enough interest to make the effort worthwhile anyway but it meant we were birding pretty much all the time from a fixed location. For all that, we recorded 34 species without moving from the table. I added a couple more while wandering off to see the owl. Spring flowers are starting to appear under the trees too and the magnolias at Blossom Corner are opening.

All the usual suspects were present. Wind was warm from the south-west and strengthening throughout the time we were there. certainly more birds were present than a couple of days ago but the delayed migration is not really in full flow yet. However, apart from the owl mentioned previously, I was happy to add a Broad-winged Hawk (#66), a Chestnut-sided Warbler (#67) and an Ovenbird (#68) to the year list for the arboretum and for my patch. The latter was a surprise as I had seen a small brown bird moving rapidly through some leaf litter below a heavily shaded shrub and grabbed a fast photograph, expecting it to have been one of the sparrows. Looking at the photo, now, however it was clearly an Ovenbird. Often heard, not so often actually seen.

Now we are heading into the busy weeks of the birding year, readers might like to check out the full list of 68 species seen on my patch thus far. You can see the list on the Species>2014 lists page from the menu above or directly at

Things are getting exciting … now, the photo gallery: