Saturday, March 07, 2009

Sightings for Saturday March 7th

Signs of spring were abundant along the Richelieu River today, with warm temperatures, sunshine and little wind. Accompanied by Mary Ellen Graham, I decided to follow the western shore of the Richelieu, starting in St. Jean sur Richelieu, heading south through St-Blaise, St-Paul de l'Ile aux Noix, Notre-Dame de Mont Carmel, Lacolle, Cantic and Odelltown.

There were many highlights throughout the day including 3 Tufted Titmouse (Mésange bicolore) on Fernet Street in St-Jean; many groups of Common Mergansers (Grand harle) and Common Goldeneye (Garrot à oeil d'or), both very active at various points along the river, with many doing their nifty little courting dances; our first Red-winged Blackbirds (Carouge à épaulettes) of the season on 73rd avenue in St. Paul, and a Red-tailed Hawk (Buse à queue rousse) in Lacolle.

Without a doubt though, the major event of the day started to unfold at about 1 PM on ch. de la Barbotte, just north of the U.S. border. We began hearing geese overhead and soon saw large numbers of Snow Geese crossing the Richelieu from the Lacolle side to the eastern shore in Noyan. We headed quickly across the river, to ch. du Bord-de-l'eau. About half-way between Highway 202 and the U.S. border we came upon a huge flock of Snow Geese (Oies des neiges) sitting in, and circling around corn fields, with more and more joining them by the minute. To add to the excitement, a young Peregrine Falcon (Faucon pèlerin) sat perched in a nearby tree surveying the action. He made two separate passes through the flock, causing quite a disturbance!

We continued down to the U.S. border and saw a huge raft of Snow Geese (Oies des neiges) sitting out on the river, back towards the western shore. We estimated a total of at least 10,000 Snow Geese (Oies des neiges), a spectacular site, particularly for March 7th.

Here is our complete list of 27 species for the day:
Snow Geese (Oies des neiges)
Canada Goose (Bernache du Canada)
Mallard (Canard colvert)
Common Goldeneye (Garrot à oeil d'or)
Common Merganser (Grand harle)
Red-tailed Hawk (Buse à queue rousse)
Peregrine Falcon (Faucon pèlerin)
Ring-billed Gull (Goéland à bec cerclé)
Great Black-backed Gull (Goéland marin)
Rock Pigeon (Pigeon biset)
Mourning Dove (Tourterelle triste)
Downy Woodpecker (Pic mineur)
Blue Jay (Geai blue)
American Crow (Corneille d'Amérique)
Horned Lark (Alouette hausse-col)
Black-capped Chickadee (Mésange à tête noire)
Tufted Titmouse (Mésange bicolore)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sittelle à poitrine rousse)
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sittelle à poitrine blanche)
European Starling (Étourneau sansonnet)
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco ardoisé)
Northern Cardinal (Cardinal rouge)
Red-winged Blackbird (Carouge à épaulettes)
House Finch (Roselin familier)
Common Redpoll (Sizerin flammé)
American Goldfinch (Chardonneret jaune)
House Sparrow (Moineau domestique)

Tomorrow looks like another great day so consider getting out and enjoying the birds and the weather – S. Harvey

Noyan, 500 Snow geese (Oies des neiges), 350 Common mergansers (Grands Harles), 200 Common mergansers (Garrots à oeil d'or), Canada geese (Bernaches du Canada), at the end of rue Sorel Bald eagle (Pygargue à tête blanche) (adulte) au bout de la rue Sorel.

Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel, rang de la Barbotte: Eastern screech owl calling (Petit-duc maculé) chantait

Île Goyer, 5 Tufted titmouse singing (Mésanges bicolores) qui chantaient dans les différents secteurs de l'île.

Côte-Ste-Catherine: Barrow’s goldeneye un couple de (Garrots d'Islande), Cooper’s hawk (Épervier de Cooper), Merlin (Faucon émerillon).

Montréal\Longueuil, (pont) Jacques-Cartier bridge: Peregrine falcon sitting on a lampost
Un Faucon pèlerin posé sur un lampadaire du une journée de 38 espèces - Jean-Sébastien Guénette, Samuel Denault
Montreal Botanical Gardens: Flock of 50 Cedar waxwings
Jardin Botanique 10.30 am Une bande de 50 Jaseur d’Amérique - Denise Lalonde - click photo to enlarge

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