Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bird Protection Quebec's Field Trip Report for Saturday June 20th


15 birders attended yesterday's Summer Solstice outing on Rigaud Mountain hearing or seeing a total of 54 species. Many participants arrived before the scheduled early morning start of 5:30 a.m. so the leaders are discussing whether this is a sign that maybe we can start even EARLIER next year!!!!!!!

Cloudy skies prevailed through the morning with temperatures eventually reaching 20C. A light breeze was evident only in the few open areas we visited.Mosquitoes were present but certainly not in the numbers one might expect given the time of year, humid weather conditions and habitat.

The group birded the woodland trails of the south west section of "L'escapade -Les Sentiers du Mont Rigaud" which are well maintained. We did have to make a detour around one section of a "spur" trail for about 200m by "bush-whacking" through undergrowth but a very cooperative singing Mourning Warbler helped mark the correct path for us! This bird (and a half dozen others of his species) was voted bird of the day as he was a lifer for some and definitely among the best and most prolonged views many others have had of this normally more secretive species.

The detour was well worth the effort as it led to a small great blue heronry with a dozen or more young birds occasionally being fed by several adults in attendance. Great views. A "posing" black-billed cuckoo with a mouthful of caterpillars seen by most of the group was another highlight making the side trip and detour to the small lake very worthwhile.

When we gathered back at the main trail Pauline spotted a pileated woodpecker through the trees and this eventually led to one of our other highlights of the trip, an active pileated nest right over our heads with adults feeding at least 2 young birds. The nest tree had several other large holes in it which led to a,discussion of whether or not these were connected and could serve as escape routes from predators.

The trip finished up at 11:00 a.m. with the traditional count taking place in the parking lot of the "Sucrerie de la Montagne."

Our complete list of 54 species includes: Wood Duck – 2, Great Blue Heron – 15, Mourning Dove – 3, Black-billed cuckoo -1, Belted Kingfisher – 1, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – 25, Downy Woodpecker – 2, Hairy Woodpecker – 2, Northern Flicker – 5, Pileated Woodpecker - 4 (Includes 2 young in nest), Eastern Wood-Pewee – 6, Alder Flycatcher – 1, Least Flycatcher – 2, Eastern Phoebe – 3, Great-crested Flycatcher – 2, Eastern Kingbird – 1, Warbling Vereo – 1, Red-eyed Vereo – 10, Blue Jay – 3, American Crow – 10, Tree Swallow – 1, Black-capped Chickadee – 6, White-breasted Nuthatch – 2, Veery – 25, Hermit Thrush – 5, Wood Thrush – 3, American Robin – 7, Gray Catbird – 2, European Starling – 6, Cedar Waxwing – 20, Yellow Warbler – 1, Chestnut-sided Warbler – 16, Black-throated Blue Warbler – 8, Yellow-rumped Warbler – 1, Black-throated Green Warbler – 12, Black-and-White Warbler – 1, American Redstart – 1, Ovenbird – 20, Northern Waterthrush – 2, Mourning Warbler – 7, Common Yellowthroat – 4, Scarlet Tanager – 6, Chipping Sparrow – 4, Song Sparrow -10, Swamp Sparrow – 2, White-throated Sparrow – 6, Rose-breasted Grosbeak – 8, Indigo Bunting – 6, Red-winged blackbird – 10, Common Grackle – 6, Brown-headed Cowbird – 2, Baltimore Oriole – 3, Purple Finch – 1, American Goldfinch – 15
Canard branchu, Grand Héron, Tourterelle triste, Coulicou à bec noir, Martin-pêcheur d'Amérique, Pic maculé, Pic mineur, Pic chevelu, Pic flamboyant, Grand Pic, Pioui de l'Est, Moucherolle des aulnes, Moucherolle tchébec, Moucherolle phébi, Tyran huppé, Tyran tritri, Viréo mélodieux, Viréo aux yeux rouges, Geai bleu, Corneille d'Amérique, Hirondelle bicolore, Mésange à tête noire, Sittelle à poitrine blanche, Grive fauve, Grive solitaire, Grive des bois, Merle d'Amérique, Moqueur chat, Étourneau sansonnet, Jaseur d'Amérique, Paruline jaune, Paruline à flancs marron, Paruline flamboyante, Paruline Bleu, Paruline à croupion jaune, Paruline à gorge noire, Paruline noir et blanc, Paruline flamboyante, Paruline couronnée, Paruline des ruisseaux, Paruline triste, Paruline masque, Tangara écarlate, Bruant familier, Bruant chanteur, Bruant des marais, Bruant à gorge blanche, Cardinal à poitrine rose, Passerin indigo, Carouge à epaulettes, Quiscale bronze, Vacher à tête brune, Oriole de Baltimore, Roselin pourpré, Chardonneret jaune

Thanks to Lance for helping decipher some of the various Rigaud Mountain dialects our birds seem to have had. Many thanks to all who pulled themselves out of bed so early to take part in an enjoyable outing. Good birds, good company, good conversation. (Only bird atlassers could come up with a potential bumper sticker phrase such as "Fecal sacks are better than copulation!")

Sheldon's "Summer Series of Birding" trips will should begin soon. Destinations to be made by Thursday on a week to week basis.

Martin and Wayne

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