Had to get in the car to go birding today. BPQ had organised a field trip onto Mont-St-Grégoire this morning to be followed by lunch at a cabane-à-sucre which is not something to be missed by any many with an appetite in Québec.
It had been raining all night and was still drizzling on the hour or so drive over but shortly after we arrived things dried up and while grey and cold the walking was fine. Birding was pretty hard though, migration is definitely delayed this year due to the weather and the flashy warblers etc are still to arrive – they should be here in a couple of weeks. Some new stuff is around though. We were accompanied on the first leg of our walk by a ginger cat who probably knew all the birds hiding places – he/she was waiting for us again on our return.A new field-trip guide for the BPQ stable?
Two new birds for the year list anyway, even if not countable on the patch. The first of these were a pair (at least) of Winter Wrens who were singling loudly and with gusto. The other bird added – and I will get one of these on the patch before too long – was a briefly glimpsed Hermit Thrush.
Other birds included seven Turkey Vultures, a couple of Ravens, a Brown Creeper, a large flock of mixed Red-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets and the odd BCChickadee. Those, however, were not new birds for the year. Bird of the day for me was a splendid Ruffed Grouse flying at high speed not ten feet in front of me and across my path along a rock face and then diving into the cover of a cedar tree. These are fairly elusive birds and although I had seen the tracks of one on the edge of the arboretum in the snow-time this was the first bird actually seen. Actually there were two, but I didn’t see the second myself.
No bird photos, but here is some idea of the terrain …