This morning I made one of my infrequent appearances at a BPQ field trip. I enjoy these trips but sometimes find 20 people at once (all very nice people, I note) a bit overpowering and so we have often checked the trip report and then gone by ourselves a day or two later if there was anything reported that we were interested in seeing. However, today’s trip was to Pointe-des-cascades which is a very lightly birded place only 20 minutes from home and one that we have not been near for at least the past ten years. I really don’t know why because it is rather delightful – and seemingly dog free!
So, Pointe-des-cascades is a wooded and marshy area jutting out into the river (here’s a map showing the trails we walked today) with good trails and absolutely heaving with birds … especially Yellow Warblers. The entrance to the canal at the north of this view was built during the Napoleonic wars and the reedy pools seem to be old stone quarries which I assume date from the same period as the canal is lined by huge stone blocks.
I ticked off 38 species and the group as a whole had a combined 43 I believe before heat and the approach of midday brought on the usual lull in activity. Very hot and quite steamy with a number of mosquitoes taking an interest in my exposed parts. Three of the species were new for the patch year list (Caspian Tern, Osprey, Spotted Sandpiper) bringing the patch total up to 128 species since New Year’s Day.
As mentioned above, lots of Yellow Warblers, but also many Song Sparrows, plenty of Common Terns, many Cedar Waxwings including a good number of juveniles having berries rammed down their throats by their parents.
This being a group outing that required a scope for the waterside I restricted the amount of gear to simply the scope and digiscoping camera today so the photographs are not huge in number but they do include some very far distant shots of Common Terns and a couple of nice closer views of birds that had the decency to pose for long enough to be recorded.
A good morning’s birding in a place that most birders neglect and to which I shall now be returning quite often.
Now – I should make a short note on the patch. You will recall that at the start of the year I declared that this was to be a green big year in which I would only count birds that I did not need to use the car to see. I also declared that I was only going to be birding locally within my 8km radius “wildlife circle”. Well, I have so far done all that but the amount of green birding effort has been less than I would have liked for many unforeseen reasons (OK, excuses) that I won’t go into. To sum up then, I am indeed almost exclusively birding locally, something that i do consider to be very important, and in doing so I have defined four mostly overlapping “patches” … the garden, the Morgan Arboretum and the wildlife circle are the first three and to these I have now decided to add an extended patch that I am calling “West Island Plus” which is really the circle plus two or three really good spots that border on it to the west and which I need to take the car to look at occasionally (you cannot cycle over the highway bridges that leave the island) – this morning’s outing to Pointe-des-cascades being a case in point. The numbers of birds on the year list for each of these are listed at the top of the posts page and a list of the actual species with dates first seen is on the 2014 listing page of this site.
Now – some photographs of birds and of the location I saw them: