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Feeling Bitter

Twenty years ago when we left England we brought with us a pretty large bottle of Angostura Bitters, an essential component of any gentleman’s armamentarium. It isn’t used that often, when it is used it’s only a splash at a time but when you need a Pink Gin, a Manhatten or an Old Fashioned then nothing else will do … even when you are the designated driver a dash of AB in a bottle of [...]

By | 2017-08-12T17:55:52+00:00 July 6th, 2017|culture|4 Comments

Ephemerally Botanising … spring in the Arboretum

LOTS of pictures for you today ... For about two weeks at the start of May (hereabouts) the leaves have not fully opened on the trees and the flowers on the forest floor make the most of the light before they are cast in shade for the rest of the summer ... these "spring ephemerals" are showing beautifully this year. The photos that follow were all taken on a walk this morning along the orange [...]

By | 2017-05-10T18:28:33+00:00 May 10th, 2017|arboretum, flowers|1 Comment

Snow and phragmites

Along with a "survey" team from the BPQ Philipsburg Sanctuary project Group we visited the Philipsburg bird sanctuary this morning to check out the old beaver dam ... We met birds, very cold winds, the first few snowflakes of the winter and far too much phragmites. We have hopes that the beaver dam can be reinstated and raised so that the levels of water in the marsh and Streit's Pond can also be raised, thereby [...]

By | 2015-10-18T16:22:15+00:00 October 18th, 2015|birding, birds, wildlife|0 Comments

Birds and Beavers at Kenauk 2014

KENAUK 7-12 September 2014 Being a brief and illustrated account of the most enjoyable wildlifing we know "West of Montreal”. This year was the 17th annual visit we have made to stay in the Kenauk nature sanctuary, now owned in good part by our friends at Nature Conservancy Canada (NCC). Always the same week of the year, always the same cabin on the same lake. When I say it's the best wildlifing I really mean [...]

By | 2014-09-14T14:47:09+00:00 September 14th, 2014|autumn, birding, birds, conservation, environment, fall, mammals, migration|0 Comments

Late winter birds

Minus 20C at morning tea time today was not a good sign ... these are temperatures more usual in mid January than early March but by the time we were ready to sally forth the numbers were up about 8 or 9 degrees and the sun was shining bright and clear from a blue sky. In other words, a beautiful late winter day to go out and see what was happening in the bird world. [...]

By | 2014-03-06T15:25:34+00:00 March 6th, 2014|BIGBY, birding, birds, cold, MBO|0 Comments

Nemesis bird nailed

Two more species for the year list on our patch – Cedar Waxwing (#33) and Red-bellied Woodpecker (#34). I don't know how many times I have seen the rare (eBird designation) Red-bellied Woodpeckers in the arboretum in previous years. I may even have been the first person to see them in mid-winter several years ago and have been tracking their behaviour and the spread of their offspring into surrounding territory ever since. We have even [...]

By | 2014-02-19T15:18:33+00:00 February 19th, 2014|arboretum, birding, birds, green birding, mangeoires, patch, wildlife, winter|0 Comments

Snow Buntings and Snowy Owls

Snow Bunting photographs are thrown into the mix today as well as photographs of eight from some of 11 Snowy Owls seen this morning thanks to the assistance of my friend Mark (thanks, Mark) who kindly acted as my guide this morning. Mark has been out looking at Snowy Owls and documenting their presence west of Montreal since the big influx started this winter and has then all well pinned down. So this was not [...]

By | 2014-02-11T15:48:23+00:00 February 11th, 2014|birding, birds, digiscoping, owls, snow, wildlife, winter|2 Comments

February starts with a … Tufted Titmouse !!!

Thanks to a tip-off yesterday from a friend we started February this morning with the addition of a rather unexpected bird to the patch list for the year ... Tufted Titmouse (#27). We also found a White-throated Sparrow (#28) which was a nice bonus. Tufted Titmice (or Titmouses .. the jury are still out on that one). Are another pretty uncommon bird in these parts that, like the Carolina Wrens, is starting to be seen [...]

By | 2014-02-02T14:29:55+00:00 February 2nd, 2014|BIGBY, birding, birds, MBO, winter|2 Comments

Three more birds and points

Today we walked "Bigby-A" route which extends from home to Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue and crosses the Macdonald campus on the way. There is a map of this route below. In the process we recorded nine species and added three new ones to the year list giving a total of 18 species to date. All these birds are recorded by us on eBird from which we can view a list of the top-100 lists for the year in [...]

By | 2014-01-04T16:06:15+00:00 January 4th, 2014|BIGBY, birding, birds|0 Comments

Fabulous bird on a foxy day

More than just birds ... Our local community magazine a couple of weeks ago had an article by the town wildlife officer about foxes. Nothing new about them being around as they have probably always been hereabouts and occasionally we have caught fleeting glimpses of them but suddenly, if not "everywhere", they are more evident ... or is that being retired I simply get more chances to see them? Just before Christmas week we were [...]

By | 2013-12-26T17:49:19+00:00 December 26th, 2013|birding, birds, mammals, winter|0 Comments