Sunday, October 04, 2009

BPQ Field Trip to Dundee, October 3rd

Seven birders disregarded the pessimistic weather forecasts and made their way to Dundee for our weekly field trip. They were rewarded with only a few rain drops, very calm conditions, temperatures reaching 15C and a few clear breaks which made for a pleasant morning outing. There was a slight change of itinerary as we did not come back as a group through Ste-Martine but spent the whole morning at the Lake St Francis Nature Reserve.

Several species were special but the "Bird of the Day" was deemed to be the SANDHILL CRANES (GRUES DU CANADA). Five were seen including 3 doing a close flyover as we walked a trail near the tower. In all probability there were more present in the refuge as we could hear birds "bugling" in the distance throughout the early part of the morning.

Also noteworthy were three immature BALD EAGLES (PYGARGUE À TÊTE BLANCHE) visible at the same time in the distance with two sitting in the same tree and one cruising by. All 3 were heavily marked with white both in their wings and on their bodies.

An Eastern Towhee (TOHI À FLANCS ROUX) made several very fleeting appearances in the heavy brush near the visitor centre. Large numbers of Tree Swallows moving through were of interest as most of the group had not seen any for several weeks. We also had excellent close-up views of Rusty Blackbirds which were actually more plentiful than red-winged. A very large flock of gulls (500+ and presumably ring-billed) put on an interesting aerial display as they massed in a group at considerable altitude and looked to be leaving the area. They then had a change of heart and all descended so rapidly toward the river that the sound of their set wings was a loud roar that persisted for several seconds.

A disappointment was the lack of waterfowl seen with only 3 species positively identified and very few individuals.

Our complete list of 48 species included:

Double-crested Cormorant 2, Great Blue Heron 2, Great Egret 1, Turkey Vulture 2,
Canada Goose 200+, Wood Duck 10, American black Duck 6, Mallard 50+, Osprey 1, Bald Eagle 3, Northern Harrier 3, Red-tailed Hawk 1, Merlin 1, Ruffed Grouse 2, SANDHILL CRANE 5, Wilson's Snipe 1, Ring-billed Gull 500+, Rock pigeons 2, Mourning Doves 2, Downy Woodpecker 3, Hairy Woodpecker 1, Northern Flicker 10, Pileated Woodpecker 1, Eastern Phoebe 2, Blue Jay 6, American Crow 24, Common Raven 1, Tree Swallow 100+, Black-capped Chickadee 35, Ruby-crowned Kinglet 20, Veery 1, American Robin 50, Gray Catbird 4, Brown Thrasher 1, European starling 275+, Nashville Warbler 1, Yellow-rumped Warbler 100, Common Yellowthroat 1, Eastern Towhee 1, Song Sparrow 20, Swamp Sparrow 40, White-throated Sparrow 50+, White-crowned Sparrow 6, Dark-eyed Junco 1,
Red-winged Blackbird 40, Rusty Blackbird 100, Common Grackle 10, American Goldfinch 10

Cormoran à aigrettes, Grand Héron, Grande Aigrette, Urubu à tête rouge, Bernache du Canada, Canard branchu, Canard noir, Canard colvert, Balbuzard pêcheur, PYGARGUE À TÊTE BLANCHE, Busard Saint-Martin, Buse à queue rousse, Faucon émerillon, Gélinotte huppée, GRUES DU CANADA, Bécassine du Wilson, Goéland à bec cerclé, Pigeon biset, Tourterelle triste, Pic mineur, Pic chevelu, Pic flamboyant, Grand pic, Moucherolle phébi, Geai bleu, Corneille d'Amérique, Grand corbeau, Hirondelle bicolore, Mésange à tête noire, Roitelet à couronne rubis, Grive fauve, Merle d'Amérique, Moqueur chat, Moqueur roux, Étourneau sansonnet, Paruline à joues grises, Paruline à croupion jaune, Paruline masquée, TOHI À FLANCS ROUX, Bruant chanteur, Bruant des marais, Bruant à gorge blanche, Bruant à couronne blanche, Junco ardoisé, Carouge à épaulettes, Quiscale rouilleux, Quiscale bronzé, Chardonneret jaune

Thanks to those who came out despite the promise of ill weather - Wayne Grubert

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