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Went birding this morning (6:30 am … why didn’t I take up botany, I could have been out at a more civilised hour?) in the St-Laurent Technoparc wetlands. Thanks to Jane for putting the outing together and to Joel for sharing his knowledge of the site. It was very instructive, and a new location for me. Even if only 20 minutes from home I had not visited before … in fact, due to Joel’s marketing skills it is suddenly coming to the notice of birders.
A bit of background. This island of damp green and wildlife lies just to the north of Montreal’s airport and is surrounded by glass and concrete high tech office blocks and laboratories … hence the technoparc name. It seems the indistrialisation is going to eat up most of this unique land in the next few years, perhaps a small corner of sanitised wetland being left – one can only hope that the area that is ppreserved is managed sensitively and remains attractive to the amazing richness of wildlife that is currently making ots home there. I believe the about-to-be-built light rail connection the airport will come through this site also. A hundred years ago the wetlands were much more extensive, indeed the airport was built over the top of most of the marshes and old texts talk of the huge and duverse biodiversity of the site. But we apparently need factories more than birds. Harrumph.
So, here are few maps to show the layout of the wetland. The first map shows the full site with the main watery areas labelled numerically – the other maps zoom in on each to give a bit more detail for visitors. The smallest wetland (#3) you can park right next to and treat yourself to some very tame Sora. What else was seen? Song and Chipping sparrows, Egret, several Green Herons, many Baltimore Orioles, Cowbirds, Green-winged teal, Pied-billed Grebe, a juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron were present amongst all the usual wetland species. There is a full checklist for the day at the end of this post for those who like that sort of thing 😉
A very nice place indeed that deserves better than disappearing under concrete.
Now for some pictures of the birds. It was a very hot day and although there was visible activity at 6:30, by 8:00 most birds were hiding away but calling to us.
There are a lot of photographs here so I have put them into a compact gallery. Hover over any thumbnail below to see a caption appear, click on any thumbnail to open the full size album.
Checklist for the Day – 29 species (all good ones):
Canada Goose 1 Mallard 9 Green-winged Teal 1 Pied-billed Grebe 1 Great Egret 1 Green Heron 2 Black-crowned Night-Heron 1 Red-shouldered Hawk 1 Sora 2 Ring-billed Gull 1 Downy Woodpecker 1 Eastern Kingbird 4 Red-eyed Vireo 1 Tree Swallow 4 Black-capped Chickadee 7 American Robin 11 Gray Catbird 1 European Starling 14 Cedar Waxwing 2 Yellow Warbler 6 Chipping Sparrow 3 Savannah Sparrow 1 Song Sparrow 12 Northern Cardinal 3 Red-winged Blackbird 18 Common Grackle 1 Brown-headed Cowbird 2 Baltimore Oriole 8 3 adults in two locations plus several fledglings/juveniles American Goldfinch 6