Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sightings for Thursday July 30th

Parc Pointe-des Cascades: Counted 11 Caspian terns (Sternes caspiennes) among the ring-billed gulls and common terns. One American bittern, and 50-plus Northern rough-winged swallows (Hirondelles à ailes hérissées) were the afternoon's highlights -
Ian Turner

Verdun, rue Fayolle: at the river Caspian tern (juvenile + adult), Common terns, 8 Great egret, 20 Purple martins
au bord du Fleuve - Sterne caspienne (juvénile + adult), Sternes pierregarin, 8 Grandes aigrettes, vingtaine d'Hirondelles noires - Diane Demers

Montréal, Mount Royal cemetery: re: Sunday's outing ..... Carefully check out the bushes atop Mount Murray, containing these white berries. For the moment , they are not quite at the peak of ripeness..... but soon they will become a veritable food pantry, going into August. All these five birds Rose-breasted grosbeak (f) (Cardinal à poitrine rose), Indigo bunting (f) Passerin indigo, Downy woodpecker (Pic mineur), Red-eyed vireo (Viréo aux yeux rouges), Cedar waxwing (Jaseur d'Amérique) were captured in the same general area, before 10 am. - Chuck Kling - click photo to enlarge and see other photos

rueViau: a male Merlin (Faucon émerillon) that flew into a conifer 200 feet from the entrance to Parc Maisonneuve - Anthony Francis

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Summer Series of Birding 2009 - Trip #6 - SUNDAY, August 2

This week's outing will be on Sunday, August 2nd, rather than the usual Saturday. In fact the next three outings will be held on Sundays, due to previous committments. After visiting a number of out of town locations in the past few weeks, this week we return to the heart of Montreal, for a visit to the Mount Royal Cemetery and Mount Royal Park.

DATE: Sunday, August 2, 2009
TIME: 8:00 AM – Half-day outing; walking trip
MEETING PLACE: The main north gates of the cemetery, on chemin de la Foret in Outremont. Free parking is available on the street and in the visitors parking spaces just inside the gates.

DRIVING INSTRUCTIONS: Chemin de la Foret is accessible from two different directions. If coming from the west, you can take Cote Ste-Catherine Road east from Decarie across the mountain to Mont-Royal Blvd. Turn left on Mont-Royal and follow it west to ch. de la Foret up to the gates. From the north, south or east, take Mont-Royal Blvd. west off of Park Avenue and follow it up to the gates. Public
transport will get you to the corner of Mont-Royal and Park Avenue. From there it is about a 10-minute walk heading west along Mont-Royal/ch. de la Foret to the gates of the cemetery.

ITINERARY: We will visit several of the hot spots of the cemetery, including Mount Murray and Mountain View. Many birds nest here each year. Eastern Bluebirds, Indigo Buntings, House Wrens, Gray Catbirds, Brown Thrashers, Cedar Waxwings, Red-eyed Vireos, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are just some of the usual residents. In addition, we will continue on to Mount Royal Park, exploring some of the trails around Beaver Lake and the chalet.

This will be a lengthy walk so be prepared with some comfortable walking shoes.

If you have any question, please feel free to contact me by e-mail, or by telephone at 450-462-1459. If you need to reach me on Saturday morning, please call me on the BPQ cellphone at 514-637-2141.

I look forward to seeing everyone on Sunday morning.


Sightings for Wednesday July 29th

Parc Pointe-des-Cascades: 5 Caspian terns, 1 Green heron, 30 Northern rough-winged swallows
5 Sternes caspiennes
au Parc Pointe-des-Cascades ce midi. Aussi
un Héron vert et une trentaine d'Hirondelles à ailes hérissées
- Pierre Bannon

Sightings for Tuesday July 28th

Montreal: 5:30 pm on Jumonville between Monsabré and Lacordaire, I saw what I believe was a Broad-winged hawk (Petite buse) lifting a pigeon belly up from the ground and going into a tree... I noted a white line near the tip of the tail, the fact that the prey bird was not much bigger than the pigeon but with larger wings. Once in the tree I noted a rather small head and beak and dark chest. The bird was 5-6 feet from where I was on the sidewalk walking my dog, in front of an apartment building where 6 pigeons normally feed... - Mireille Goulet

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sightings for Monday July 27th

Varennes, chemin des Artisans: Whimbrel feeding in a field with short grass
COURLIS courlieu Il s'alimentait dans un champ où l'herbe était très courte - (Raymond Belhumeur click photo to enlarge) Sheldon Harvey + others (autres)

Chateauguay, Île Saint-Bernard:
It was very humid this morning in the wooded area, on the lac St-Louis side of Île Saint-Bernard. There were also quite a few mosquitoes until you got to the cut-off for the grande digue, then they were not so noticible. Also a second outhouse has been installed on the way to the grande digue in the Érabliere à caryers. Between Érabliere à caryers and the grande digue the path is quite muddy because of all the rain.

A mink and a garter snake were on the path between the grande digue and the petite digue, where there were two deer.

47 species were seen in just over 2 hrs
6 Mallard, 300 Double-crested Cormorant, 4 Great Blue Heron, 19 Great Egret, 2
Green Heron, 1 Black-crowned Night-Heron, 1 Killdeer, 1 Spotted Sandpiper, 10
Ring-billed Gull, 1 Common Tern, 2 Rock Pigeon, 8 Mourning Dove, 1 Ruby-throated
Hummingbird, 2 Belted Kingfisher, 2 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, 1 Downy
Woodpecker, 2 Hairy Woodpecker, 10 Northern Flicker, 4 Eastern Wood-Pewee, 2
Willow Flycatcher, 1 Least Flycatcher, 3 Great Crested Flycatcher, 1 Eastern
Kingbird, 4 Warbling Vireo, 2 Red-eyed Vireo, 3 Blue Jay, 4 American Crow, 6
Tree Swallow, 8, Black-capped Chickadee, 6, White-breasted Nuthatch, 11, House
Wren, 22, Marsh Wren, 10 American Robin, 2, Gray Catbird, 8, European Starling,
7 Cedar Waxwing, 40 Yellow Warbler, 1 Chestnut-sided Warbler, 12 Common
Yellowthroat, 60 Song Sparrow, 8 Swamp Sparrow, 1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak, 80
Red-winged Blackbird, 20 Common Grackle, 1 Baltimore Oriole, 6 American
Goldfinch, 5 House Sparrow
- T. Long

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sightings for Saturday July 25th

Varennes, chemin des Artisans: Whimbrel feeding in a field with short grass
COURLIS courlieu Il s'alimentait dans un champ où l'herbe était très courte. - Sylvain Lamoureux, Manon Thibeault

Summer Series of Birding 2009 - Trip #5 Report

7 birders headed out to Yamachiche and Maskinongé, north-east of Montreal, towards Trois-Rivieres this morning, recognizing that the forecast of a 30% chance of rain also means a 70% chance that it won't! The odds were on our side as we spent a full morning with a mix of cloud and sun plus a cooling breeze to take away some of the humidity.

We were greeted by a good sign for the day; a Red-tailed Hawk perched in a tree adjacent to the parking lot. This was an indicator of a good day ahead.

We were also surprised to find a brand new addition to the Pointe de Yamachiche site. A very impressive and lengthy raised boardwalk has been recently installed. It heads off to the right off the path, not far from the parking lot. It begins by winding through a forested area that, based on the muddy ground below, apparently is inondated with water during the spring months. The
boardwalk then splits off into two directions, both arms leading to raised areas overlooking marshy areas on the shore of Lac St-Pierre. This is a very impressive addition to this excellent birding site.

The trail leading down to the sandy shore along the lake is now quite
narrow with lots of high vegetation overgrown on both sides. Once at the waterfront, again heavy growth of vegetation is now covering what used to be a wide open sandy and rocky area. The water level on the lake is also quite elevated. Still we were able to see substantial numbers of Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers, a few Spotted Sandpipers, one Greater Yellowlegs and a nice mix of Black Tern, Common Tern and Ring-billed Gulls. Somewhat surprising was the almost total absence of ducks. Photo of least sandpiper, click to enlarge T. Long

The wooded trail did offer up large numbers of Yellow Warblers, Common Yellowthroats and Song Sparrows.

After a little more than three hours of exploring Pointe de Yamachiche we headed west towards Maskinongé to check out two substantial marshes running parallel to Highway 40 on the north side. These marshes were featured on Jean-Pierre Pratte's Quebec birding sites webpage. A warning to all here. Pratte's maps present seemingly easy access points to various observations points on the marsh. Roads on his maps, plus on the Quebec road map, are barely roads which
lead to the marshes. They are dirt roads which seem to act primarily as service roads for farmers in the area to access their field. Areas indicated with a "P" for parking areas are nothing more than slightly wider clearings along side the dirt roads. Turning around to return on these roads can be an adventure as I found out first-hand as I backed in to a spot that turned out to be a mud patch. With five people pushing, we finally succeeded in getting out, but not without the back tires kicking up a massive amout of mud which unfortunately found its target on a number of the people behind the van! It looked like they were paying tribute to the upcoming 40th anniversary of Woodstock with all the mud and surrounding farm fields!

Take note that what appear to be walking paths on Pratte's map surrounding the marshes are actually covered with thick, heavy over-growth. These marshes do appear to have a lot of potential but certainly accessing them is far from as easy at it appears on the maps.

One interesting and somewhat surprising sighting of note at the marsh was a pair of Snow Geese, one adult, possibly injured, together with a dark young bird.

So, with our adventurs of today behind us, we focus on today's species list. We completed the day with a very impressive 57 species. Thanks to those who attended, particularly for taking the muddy episode in stride, with a sense of humour - Sheldon

Here is our species list for the day.
Snow Goose (2)
Mallard (40)
Blue-winged Teal (1)
Pied-billed Grebe (5)
Double-crested Cormorant (60)
American Bittern (2)
Great Blue Heron (6)
Great Egret (10)
Black-crowned Night Heron (1)
Turkey Vulture (6)
Northern Harrier (1)
Red-tailed Hawk (2)
Killdeer (1)
Greater Yellowlegs (1)
Spotted Sandpiper (6)
Semipalmated Sandpiper (16)
Least Sandpiper (4)
Ring-billed Gull (30)
Common Tern (6)
Black Tern (30)
Rock Pigeon (40)
Mourning Dove (6)
Belted Kingfisher (1)
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (2)
Downy Woodpecker (2)
Northern Flicker (1)
Eastern Wood-Pewee (3)
Great Crested Flycatcher (6)
Eastern Kingbird (6)
Warbling Vireo (2)
Red-eyed Vireo (3)
Blue Jay (4)
American Crow (12)
Tree Swallow (40)
Barn Swallow (6)
Black-capped Chickadee (6)
White-breasted Nuthatch (2)
Marsh Wren (1)
Veery (1)
American Robin (8)
Gray Catbird (6)
European Starling (6)
Cedar Waxwing (8)
Nashville Warbler (1)
Yellow Warbler (40)
Black-and-White Warbler (1)
Ovenbird (1)
Common Yellowthroat (12)
Chipping Sparrow (2)
Savannah Sparrow (1)
Song Sparrow (50)
Swamp Sparrow (12)
Red-winged Blackbird (30)
Common Grackle (6)
Baltimore Oriole (2)
American Goldfinch (12)
House Sparrow (1)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sightings for Tuesday July 21st

There's a family Cooper's hawk with 3 or 4 young who fledged at the end of last week, in St Bruno. Their favourite tree is on the left side of Rabastaliere just north of Blvd de Boucherville - Ann Fleming

Trois-Rivières: LITTLE BLUE HERON near Sanctuaire Notre-Dame du Cap
4 Northern mockingbirds 2 adults and 2 imm. at the port around the grain elevators
AIGRETTE BLEUE près du Sanctuaire N-D du Cap.
Moqueurs polyglottes aux installations portuaires (secteur élévateurs à grains). 4 moqueurs étaient visibles, 2 imm. 2 adultes -
Robert Barbeau

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sightings for Monday July 20th

Trois-Rivières, l'étang Du Moulin (pond): LITTLE BLUE HERON see July 18th for location
AIGRETTE BLEU nous profitons de l'occasion pour observer ce bel oiseau. Voir July 18th pour direction - Mario Grégoire, Lise Hupé

Sightings for Sunday July 19th

I went to Trois-Rivières this afternoon and eaily saw the LITTLE BLUE HERON reported by Micheline Bisson
Je suis allé à Trois-Rivières cet après midi et j'ai vu facilement l'AIGRETTE BLEU adulte qui a été signalée par Micheline Bisson - Michel Bertrand

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Summer Series of Birding 2009 - Trip #4 Report

The dark and dreary conditions early yesterday morning in the Montreal region may have discouraged many people from venturing out for the field trip at Parc régional St-Bernard, in St-Bernard-de-Lacolle, QC. However, it was a just another case of "never trust the weather reports". We had two very light sprinklings of rain throughout the morning. The rest of the time was very pleasant with cloudy conditions mixed with several long periods of sunshine and
pleasant temperatures. Only 4 birders decided to challenge the elements but we succeeded in collecting an even dozen species per person for the day, for a total of 48.

The park itself offers an extensive network of both easy and difficult trails to walk. The park is used for both snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter. Some of the major trails are kept clear throughout the year but some of the secondary trails were heavily overgrown and inaccessible. Overall the park offers 210 hectares to explore. A species list maintained by the park now has over 175 species seen on the grounds. Numerous well stocked feeders are
maintained year-round just across from the main chalet. Bluebird boxes are installed, and used, adjacent to the main parking lot.

33 species were seen within the boundaries of Parc régional itself. Another 15 species were added in a side-trip south of Lacolle, primarily on ch. de la Barbotte, between Highway 202 and the U.S. border, along the western shore of the Richelieu River.

The highlight of our day was an 'up close and personal" encounter with a young Ruffed Grouse on ch. de la Barbotte. We were just about to pull away from a stop to check out the waterfront when he/she walkout out on to the road in front of our vehicles. We got out and were able to spend quite some time at arm's length away from the bird. The bird was not the least bit afraid of us, but seemed as interested in us as we were with him/her. At one point, we almost thought the bird was ready to jump in the van with us as we prepared to depart. On the return trip, the bird was spotted again, this time with a second grouse. Click photo to enlarge

So, here is the species list for the day. I will post the birds seen in the park first, followed by those seen elsewhere.

Ring-billed Gull (10), Mourning Dove (10), Downy Woodpecker (1), Eastern Wood-Pewee (2), Eastern Kingbird (4), Red-eyed Vireo (6), Blue Jay (6), American Crow (6), Barn Swallow (10), Black-capped Chickadee (12), Red-breasted Nuthatch (1), White-breasted Nuthatch (1), House Wren (2), Eastern Bluebird (2), Wood Thrush (3), American Robin (20), Gray Catbird (1), European Starling (30), Cedar Waxwing (10), Black-throated Blue Warbler (1), American Redstart (2), Ovenbird (1), Common Yellowthroat (2), Chipping Sparrow (10), Song Sparrow (20), White-throated Sparrow (3), Northern Cardinal (3), Rose-breasted Grosbeak (6), Red-winged Blackbird (8), Common Grackle (6), Purple Finch (2), House Finch (1), American Goldfinch (20).

Wood Duck (1), Ruffed Grouse (2), Wild Turkey (6), Virginia Rail (1), Killdeer (1), Spotted Sandpiper (1), Rock Pigeon (25), Northern Flicker (2), Great Crested Flycatcher (1), Warbling Vireo (1), Tree Swallow (2), Marsh Wren (1), Yellow Warbler (2), Swamp Sparrow (1), House Sparrow (15)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sightings for Saturday July 18th

Trois-Rivières, l'étang Du Moulin (pond): LITTLE BLUE HERON (adult) was discovered by Julien Belin
l'étang Du Moulin (pond) is in the proximity of Sanctuaire Notre-Dame-du-Cap (Cap-de-la-Madeleine area), between the streets of rues Notre-Dame, Du Moulin des Jésuites, De La Madone et Loranger. The pond is currently being cleaned so the water level is low.
AIGRETTE BLEUE (adulte), à l'étang Du Moulin à Trois-Rivières. L'oiseau a été découvert tout récemment par Julien Belin - Micheline Bisson
L'étang du Moulin se situe à proximité du Sanctuaire Notre-Dame-du-Cap (secteur Cap-de-la-Madeleine),dans le quadrilatère compris entre les rues Notre-Dame, Du Moulin des Jésuites, De La Madone et Loranger. Cet étang fait présentement l'objet d'un nettoyage et ne contient que très peu d'eau - Serge St-Louis

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sightings for Friday July 17th

Montréal: Northern Mockingbird singing from the fence along the rue Notre-Dame East, just east of the entrance of the former Esso refinery in Montreal East
Moqueur polyglotte chantait à partir de la clôture en bordure de la rue Notre-Dame Est, un peu à l'est de l'entrée de l'ancienne raffinerie d'Esso à Montréal-Est. - Richard Guillet

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sightings for Wednesday July 15th

St-Joseph-de-la-Rive: COMMON CHAFFINCH was observed on chemin des Marguerites and chemin des Dunes
Pinson des arbres est observer sur le chemin des Marguerites et le chemin des Dunes -Gaétan Duquette, Nicole Lépine, Michel Robert, Claire & Harvey Mead & others (autres)

Montréal, (Ville St-Laurent): Northern mockingbird corner of rue Marcel-Laurin & Poirier Moqueur polyglotte au coin des rue Marcel-Laurin et Poirier - Don-Jean Léandri, Alexandre Brunet

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sightings for Monday July 13th

Trois-Rivières, rue Notre-Dame et Carleton: Northern mockingbirds at the port of Trois-Rivières in front of the grain elevators carring food for young.
Au port de Trois-Rivières (intersection de le rue Notre-Dame et Carleton, face aux élévateurs à grain) j'ai pu observer un couple de Moqueurs polyglottes en train de nourrir un petit. - Jacques Gélinas

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sightings for Sunday July 12th

St-Joseph-de-la-Rive: COMMON CHAFFINCH singing between 7:30 & 8: along rue du Quai and Ste-Marguerite (which is parallel), west side, approximately 150 meters before arriving at the dock. High in the foliage (it seems to appreciate the poplars) but I was able to observe several minutes from the road. It's song sounds vaguely like that of the House wren. The best place to parking is at the dock itself.
PINSON DES ARBRES chantait constamment ce matin 12 juillet, entre 7h30 et 8h30, le long de la rue du Quai et du chemin Ste-Marguerite (qui est parallèle), côté ouest, à environ 150 mètres avant d'arriver au quai. Il se tenait souvent haut dans le feuillage (il semble apprécier les peupliers) mais j'ai pu l'observer plusieurs minutes à partir de la voie publique. Son chant rappelle vaguement celui du Troglodyte familier. Le meilleur endroit pour stationner est le quai lui-même. - Gaétan Lord

Sightings for Saturday July 11th

Îles-de-la-Madeleine, we join the Club d'Ornithologie des Îles-de-la-Madeleine for an outing to Rocher aux Oiseaux and Île Brion. Here are the main birds seen:
Going to Rocher aux Oiseaux by zodiac: 6 Sooty shearwater, 1 Greater shearwater, 1 Northern Fulmal, 1 Common loon
Rocher aux Oiseaux: Thick-billed murre, Common Murre, Black guillemot, Razorbill, Northern gannet, Black-legged kittiwake, Atlantic puffin
Added at Île Brion: Merlin, 3 Savannan sparrows, 4 American crows
nous avons accompagné le Club d'Ornithologie des Îles-de-la-Madeleine pour une sortie au Rocher aux Oiseaux et à l'île Brion. Voici les principaux oiseaux observés:
En route vers le Rocher en zodiac:
6 Puffins fuligineux, 1 Puffin majeur, 1 Fulmar boréal, 1 Plongeon huard
Au Rocher: Guillemots de Brunnïch, Guillemots marmette, Guillemots à miroir, Petit pingouin, Fous de Bassan, Mouettes tridactyle, Macareux moine
À l'Île Brion on a ajouté: 1 Faucon émerillon, 3 Bruants des prés, 4 Corneilles d'Amérique -
Gilles Ethier, Murielle Couture et Robert Chartier

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Summer Series of Birding 2009 - Trip #3 Report

12 birders enjoyed a lengthy, almost 4 hour walk around the grounds of the Montreal Botanical Gardens this morning. The weather was great; warm with a nice breeze and mostly sunny skies. Clouds began to roll in, as forecast, as we wrapped up the morning.

We probably spent as much time enjoying the plants, flowers and trees as we did in watching the birdlife. However, certainly one of the highlights of the day was the spectacular show being staged by the Cooper's Hawk family of seven. Photo taken by Chuck Kling. Click to enlarge and to see other photos

5 young birds were spread throughout a group of trees opposite the Shade Garden, awaiting the delivery of food from their parents. All five were easily visible, often flattened out on branches, relaxing in the shade, waiting for their parents to arrive with food. When food did arrive, the excitement began. Space was at a premium with a large throng of photographers present looking for that "special photo op".

At the end of the morning, we saw one of the adults seemingly taking a bit of break, perched in a tree quietly near the restaurant building.

We were also quite surprised to find a pair of Common Ravens right at the start of the outing flying in tandem around the Olympic Stadium tower and then heading off to the west.

We completed the day with 25 species. Our list follows below. A special thanks to Jane Atkinson for acting as our special tour guide around the Gardens, and providing some interesting stories, particularly her involvement in the creation of one of the major Alpine Garden exhibit areas.

Thanks to all who participated in a fun and relaxing outing. Here are the bird celebrities of the day.

Mallard (50), Pied-billed Grebe (1), Cooper's Hawk (6 or 7 depending on whether
we saw one or two of the adults), Ring-billed Gull (12) Rock Pigeon (10),
Chimney Swift (6), Downy Woodpecker (2), Warbling Vireo (1), Red-eyed Vireo (6), American Crow (12), Common Raven (2), Black-capped Chickadee (20),
White-breasted Nuthatch (1), American Robin (25), Cedar Waxwing (12), Yellow
Warbler (1), Chipping Sparrow (20), Song Sparrow (12), Northern Cardinal (1),
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (1), Red-winged Blackbird (24), Common Grackle (1), House Finch (6), American Goldfinch (24), House Sparrow (4)
- Sheldon

Sightings for Friday July 10th

Îles-de-la-Madeleine, La Martinique pond area: 12 Whimbrel, 8 Short-billed dowitcher, 18 Greater scaup, 14 Black duck, 3 Mallard, 30+ Common tern, 1 Merlin, 7 Bonaparte’s gull, 1 Sora, 2 Song sparrow, xxx Savannah sparrow, Gulls – Great black-backed, Herring, Double-crested cormorants, Crows
Barachoix de Fatima: 6 Piing plovers, 14 Whimbrel, 7 Least sandpipers, 1 Semipalmated sandpiper, 1 Merlin, 1 Virginia rail, etc
dans le secteur des étangs de La Martinique: 12 Courlis corlieu, 8 Bécassins roux, 18 Fuligule milouinan, 14 Canards noir, 3 Canards colvert, 30+ Sterne pierregarin, 1 Faucon émerillon, 7 Mouettes de Bonaparte, 1 Marouette de Caroline, 2 Bruants chanteur, xxx Bruants des prés, Goélands marin, argenté, Cormorans à aigrettes et Corneilles
Dans le Barachoix de Fatima avec Robert Chartier: 6 Pluviers siffleurs, 14 Courlis corlieu, 7 Bécasseaux minuscules, 1 Bécasseau semi-palmé, 1 Faucon émerillon, 1 Râle de Virginie, et les autres communs de l'endroit - Gilles Ethier, Robert Chartier, Gérard Cyr

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Summer Series of Birding 2009 - Trip #3 - Saturday, July 11

This week we'll stay on the island of Montreal and visit a place that BPQ tends to only visit in the dead of winter, that being the Montreal Botanical Gardens. This spot is easily accessible by either car or by public transportation. It will be a nice opportunity to not only look for bird life but to see the gardens in peak season rather than under cover of snow and below zero temperatures!

Date: Saturday, July 11, 2009
Time: 8 AM - Half day. Walking trip.
Meeting Spot: In front of the restaurant building, across from the main greenhouse exhibition entrance on the west side of the gardens, parallel to Pie IX Blvd.

DRIVING INSTRUCTIONS: The main entrance to the Gardens is located at the corner of Sherbrooke Street East and Pie-IX Blvd. in east end Montreal. There is plenty of FREE Parking on both sides of Pie-IX Blvd., north of Sherbrooke Street. Note that if you park in the Gardens parking lot, there is a fee. Acess to the Botanical Gardens is free, as long as we enter prior to 9 am, so our 8 am start time will not cause a problem. For those taking public transportation, Metro station Pie-IX will bring you out on the corner of Pie-IX Blvd. and Sherbrooke Street.

The entrance closest to our meeting spot is located on the west side of Gardens, on Pie-IX Blvd., a little ways up the block, north of Sherbrooke Street. Enter through these gates and turn left at the main road. The restaurant is the brown building on your left, facing the greenhouses and administration/exhibit hall complex.

ITINERARY: This will be a lengthy walk, exploring the complete Gardens, offering a wide variety of habitats. Of particular interest, bird-wise, is a family of Cooper Hawks, including no less than 5 young that have just recently emerged from the nest. BPQer Chuck Kling posted photos on Songsparrow recently and on Monday of this week indicated that "3 of the 5 young were running around within 15 feet of me, just like a bunch of chickens in a barnyard! One of them "attacked" pine cones, laying on the ground and flipped them in the air...quite a show!
In addition to birds, there will be plenty of plants, flowers, trees, etc. to see in the various sections of the Gardens.

If you have any question, please contact me by e-mail, or by telephone at 450-462-1459. On the morning of the trip you can reach me on the BPQ cellphone at 514-637-2141. - Sheldon

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Sightins for Tuesday July 7th

Iles-de-la-Madeleine, Barachois de Fatima: We observered 9 Piping plovers, 4 adults & 5 chicks
nous avons observé 9 Pluviers siffleurs. 4 adultes et 5 poussins. - Robert Chartier, Murielle Couture, Monique Rouleau & Gilles Ethier.

St Lambert: About 4:00 PM while driving down Brixton Street in St Lambert I looked out the drivers window to the left and was surprised to see an immature Merlin (Faucon émerillon) sitting on the roof of a car parked in the driveway.

I stopped, got out, and was able to approach to within a couple of feet of the bird.

By and large, the feathers seemed a little less that optimum for a fledged falcon. The head still had tufts of white down on top and the tail was about 6-7 inches long.

When it flew, and just missed crashing onto the ground, I could see that the wings were more accipeter-like in shape rather than elongated like a falcon so it still had a little growing to do.

Flight was unsteady and it 'landed', and I use the term generously, about 24 inches up the trunk of a dense spruce that could have been the nest tree.

Fearing for cats I approached close to make it nervous enough so that it flapped and climbed its way to a perch about 10 feet up and hopefully out of harms way for the time being.

Adults could be heard a couple of houses away but, never, gave me any attention.

The house is about 5-6 up from Riverside if anyone in St Lambert is interested in looking. I didn't think to look at the address but in anyone needs it I can pass by later and get the details - Mark

Monday, July 06, 2009

Sightings for Monday July 6th

Tadoussac, baie de Tadoussac: Lesser black-backed gull 2nd year summer plumage on the beach
Goéland brun en plumage de 2e été était présent sur la plage dans la baie de Tadoussac - Renaud Pintiaux - PHOTOS

Bergeronnes, Cap-de-Bon-Désir: 2 Common murres accompanied by groups of Razorbills 30+. Again many Scoters were headed east. 62 White-winged scoter, 36 Surf scoter, 4 Black scoter and a Northern gannet 2nd year summer plumage.
2 Guillemots marmettes à partir du Cap-de-Bon-Désir . Ils accompagnaient des groupes Petits Pingouins dont j'ai pu en dénombrer un peu plus d'une trentaine. Encore plusieurs de macreuses se dirigeaient vers l'est : Macreuse brune (62), Macreuse à front blanc (36), Macreuse noire (4). Également un Fou de Bassan en plumage de 2e été - Samuel Belleau

Montréal, rue Durocher & Sherbooke east: at he end of the afternoon a Northern mockingbird was seen carring food
en fin d'après-midi, un Moqueur polyglotte transportait de la nourriture à l'angle des rues Durocher et Sherbooke Est à Montréal-Est. Il est allé livré la marchandise dans un bosquet avant de repartir - Richard Guillet

Sightings for Sunday July 5th

A lovely sunny day to take the ferry from Souris (Prince Edward Island) to Cap-aux-Meules, Îles-de-la-Madeleine (Quebec). Principal observation on the Îles-de-la-Madeleine side: 150 Greater shearwater, 25 Sooty shearwater, Manx Shearwater, 10 Northern Fulmar, 1 Atlantic Puffin 12 WILSON´S STORM PETREL, 80+ Northern gannets, 1 Black guillemot, 40+ Black-legged kittiwakes
Prince Edward Island, Souris coast: 150+ Sooty Shearwater, 75+ Greater Sherawater, 20+ Northern fulmar, 300+ Northern gannets

Par une belle après-midi ensoleillée nous avons effectués la traversée Souris - Cap-aux-Meules
Nos principales observations du côté des Îles-de-la-Madeleine:
150+ Puffins majeur, 25+ Puffins fuligineux, 2 Puffins des Anglais, 10+ Fulmar boréal, 1 Macareux moine, 12 Océanites de Wilson, 80+ Fous de Bassan, 1 Guillemot miroir, 40+ Mouettes tridactyle
Du côté de Souris, Île du Pince Edward, dans le secteur East-Point: 150+ Puffin fuligineux, 75+ Puffin majeur, 20+ Fulmar boréal, 300+ Fous de Bassan - Robert Chartier & Murielle Couture, Gérard Cyr, Louis Fradette, Gilles Ethier et Monique Rouleau & others (et autres)

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Sightings for Saturday July 4th

Threatening skies throughout most of the morning and early afternoon, strong winds and the occasional sprinkles of rain could not prevent 8 birders from experiencing an enjoyable and productive outing to the Philipsburg & St-Armand, Quebec region.

Two target species for the day were the Orchard Oriole and the Yellow-throated Vireo. Both birds had been seen on several occasions over the last couple of weeks in the region.

With the help of Philipsburg resident and BPQ member Sandy Montgomery, we explored the waterfront road in the area where the Orchard Orioles had been reported. Very strong winds and an overcast sky provided difficult conditions and, as a result, we were not successful in finding the birds. Our efforts were watched closely by several low, gliding Turkey Vultures!

We continued on to the St-Armand/Pigeon Hill area, east of Philipsburg, on a series of gravel and dirt roads south of chemin St-Armand. The terrain and scenery in this region is really great. We searched the area where the Yellow-throated Vireos had been recently reported. Several Red-eyed Vireos and a very vocal Willow Flycatcher, together with some light rain showers, provided
quite a challenge. Finally, the distinct call of the Yellow-throated Vireo, from seemingly two individuals, was heard by Jean Demers and myself. Joined by the rest of our group, we were unfortunately unable to get any sightings of the birds.

Overall though it was a very successful day. A few of us made a stop at the Henryville Marsh on the way home and added a few species to our day's list, giving us a final total of 63 species for the day.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the outing and a special thanks to Sandy for helping out. Here is our complete species list for the day.

Wood Duck (6), Gadwall (2), Great Blue Heron (5), Green Heron (2), Turkey Vulture (10), Osprey (1), Northern Harrier (1), Red-shouldered Hawk (1), Red-tailed Hawk (1), American Kestrel (3), Merlin (1), Common Moorhen (4), Killdeer (2), Ring-billed Gull (250), Great Black-backed Gull (1), Black Tern (4), Rock Pigeon (50), Mourning Dove (8), Northern Flicker (1), Pileated Woodpecker (1), Eastern Wood-Pewee (2), Willow Flycatcher (1), Eastern Phoebe (2), Great Crested Flycatcher (2), Eastern Kingbird (5), Warbling Vireo (1), Yellow-throated Vireo (2), Red-eyed Vireo (6), Blue Jay (6), American Crow (20), Tree Swallow (24), Barn Swallow (20), Black-capped Chickadee (3), House Wren (1), Marsh Wren (1), Eastern Bluebird (1), Veery (1), American Robin (20), Gray Catbird (2), European Starling (100), Cedar Waxwing (20), Yellow Warbler (3), Chestnut-sided Warbler (1), Black-throated Blue Warbler (1), Black-throated Green Warbler (1), Black and White Warbler (1), American Redstart (4), Ovenbird
(3), Common Yellowthroat (3), Chipping Sparrow (6), Savannah Sparrow (2), Song Sparrow (12), Swamp Sparrow (2), White-throated Sparrow (1), Northern Cardinal (2), Rose-breasted Grosbeak (2), Indigo Bunting (1), Red-winged Blackbird (75), Common Grackle (6) Purple Finch (1), House Finch (3), American Goldfinch (60), House Sparrow (6)
- Sheldon

Parc Régional de Longueuil: Virginia rail (râle de Virginie) - Denise Laferté

At the mouth of rivière Saint-Jean (in Mingnie): Of the 3,000 Gulls in the area there were 23 Lesser black-backed gulls one was in first years plumage and 22 were 2nd of 3rd year plumage.
There was also a Laughing gull 2nd summer and a Sandhill crane in the marsh.
à l'embouchure de la rivière Saint-Jean (en Minganie): Parmi les 3 000 laridés au repos dans le secteur nous avons dénombré 23 Goélands bruns. Tous étaient des immatures : un était en plumage de premier été (oiseau d'un an), les 22 autres étaient en plumage de deuxième ou troisième été.
Il y avait aussi une Mouette atricille de deuxième été et une Grue du Canada
dans le marais - Yann Rochepault, Christophe Buidin

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Sightings for Wednesday July 1st

Philipsburg, avenue Champlain (road along the lake) leaving the village at the north end: ORCHARD ORIOLE - also seen at the same place: Green heron, Great blue heron, Turkey vultures, Song sparrows, Yellow warblers, Warbling vireos adult and young etc.
boul. Champlain (chemin du bord du lac), à la sortie nord du village: ORIOLES DES VERGERS - Nous avons aussi observé au même endroit: 1 Héron vert, 1 Grand héron, 14 Urubus à tête rouge, 3 Bruants chanteur, 2 Parulines jaune, Viréos mélodieux adulte et bébés, et les autres communs - Gilles Ethier - PHOTOS
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