This being a public holiday (for people where I work and for the ROC, not for Quebec as a whole) we took a short late morning test run up to Anse-a-l’Orme and the Cap-St-Jacques Nature Park. Splendidly quiet, most people being at work … something that bodes very well for the retirement years ahead.
We were hoping for early shorebirds but the water levels in the river are still high this summer and not much shoreline is exposed so it looks like shorebirds will not be plentiful this season. Strong winds were blowing directly into the bay and windsurfers were zipping about, also not good for birds. Nevertheless, on the far shore there were a couple of Great Blue Herons and single Great Egret, hidden somewhat by heat haze as they were over a half kilometre distant – a mere nothing to the splendid new Swarovski spotting scope. “Ah ha”, thought I. “A chance to really test this digiscoping business at its limits”. That distance and the haze made life difficult, especially as the level of zoom necessary was equivalent to about a 2000mm regular camera lens (you can say “gosh” at this point). Anyway, as the fuzzy pictures below indicate, the legs were nice and black making this a Great Egret … and we got a short video as well from which you can see the waves zipping past a great rate.
Later we moved onto the more sheltered eastern shore of Cap-St-Jacques, found a good canoe launching spot for next season and enjoyed some interesting birds. being a sunny late morning things were quiet of course but there were also grasshoppers and butterflies to catch our interest and plenty of summer flowers by the trail-side. Later autumn expeditions will be able to devote more time to the minutiae of these other creatures.
Returning home, our feeder was visited by a juvenile, not long out of the egg, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and a couple of Yellow Warblers hopped about the ajuga “lawn” – both species we had seen in the park earlier.
Birds for the outing (14 species):
Common Raven, American Crow, Canada Goose, Catbird, Song Sparrow, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, Swamp Sparrow, Yellow Warbler, American Robin, American Goldfinch, Ring-billed Gull, Mallard, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (adult and juvenile).
Let’s start with the video of the >0.5km distant Great Egret –