Saturday, April 05, 2008

Bird Protection Quebec's Field Trip Report – April 5th

Lasalle, Parc des Rapids & Verdun: "bring a friend birding" trip to Parc des Rapides and the Verdun waterfront was attended by 21 birders looking for a taste of spring. We were pleased to see some new faces among the group and hope they enjoyed themselves, the company and the birds.

We started out under a blanket of gray but ended the morning with some stretches of sunshine and bright blue sky. Temperatures were above freezing and eventually reached +7 or +8 by the noon hour. The best aspect of the weather - NO WIND! Yours truly had the easy job of the morning chatting with participants and helping with ID hints. Co-leader Diane Demers was given the hard work of finding the birds and she came through with some great ones. Bird of the day was a"sub-adult" male Harlequin Duck at the Verdun waterfront opposite the Douglas Hospital. It proved elusive at first as it fed with a large group of other divers but eventually climbed out on the ice to "catch some rays" and gave everyone a great chance to admire it.

Runner up bird, for those who continued on to Ile des Soeurs at the end of the trip, was a male Barrow's Goldeneye at the end of O'Reilly Street. It was"displaying" with a group of common goldeneyes and gave us a chance to hold an impromptu clinic as we dissected the various ID clues which separate these two species. (I think Diane had this one "tied down" because she drove us to the end of the street, walked down and there it was at relatively close range!) The Harlequin and the Barrow's were lifers for some in the group. Always a nice touch.

HARLEQUIN DUCK (ARLEQUIN PLONGEUR), Bufflehead (Petit Garrot), Ring-necked duck (Fuligule à collier), Barrow’s goldeneye (Garrot d'Islande), Common goldeneye (Garrot à oeil d'or), Mallard & Black duck (Canard Colvert et noir), American wigeon (Canard d’Amérique), Common merganser (Grand harle), Hooded mergansers ( Harles couronné), Red-breasted merganser (Harle Hupée), Gadwall (Canard chipeau), Lesser & Greater scaups (Fuligules - Petit et milouinan), Herring gull (Goéland argenté), Great black-backed gulls (Goélands marin), Ring-billed gulls (Goélands à bec cerclé), Canada geese (Bernache du Canada), Double-crested cormorants (Cormorans à aigrettes), Great blue heron (Grand Héron), Dark-eyed Junco (Juncos ardoisé), Rough-legged hawk (Buse pattue), American kestrel (Crécerelle d'Amérique), Robins (Merles), Mourning dove (Tourterelle triste), Rock dove (Pigeon biset), Downy woodpecker (Pic mineur), American crows (Corneille d’Amérique), Black-capped chickadee (Mésange à tête noir), European Starling (Étourneau sansonnet), Songsparrow (Bruant chanteur), Cardinal (Cardinal rouge), House finch (Roseline familier), Common grackle (Quincale bronzé), House sparrow (Moineau domestique) - American goldfinch (Chardonneret jaune), Red-winged blackbirds (Carouge à épaulettes)

Thanks to Diane for her "eagle-eyed" spotting, thanks to Mary Ellen for compiling the list under duress,and thanks to everyone for coming out on a fun morning. A taste of spring at last!

Wayne Grubert

No comments:

Nature Blog Network