Saturday, January 16, 2010

Field Trip Report - Sat. January 16, 2010

Montréal, Parc Jean Drapeau

Compared to previous trips we have made to Parc Jean Drapeau at this time of the year, today was absolutely balmy! The temperature throughout the morning's very long walk hovered around the freezing mark. Only in open areas along the water did it get somewhat chilly, due mainly to the winds across the water. Overall, walking conditions were quite good, with the exception of one stretch of solid ice along the waterfront on Ile-Ste-Helene.

Before getting to the day's birds, there were a couple other sightings of note. First off, a very healthy looking fox was waiting for us as we arrived at the parking lot. Later on, as we were preparing to leave the parking lot, we saw him again, this time with what looked to be a furry little meal in his mouth...probably an unfortunate squirrel.

The other much more bizarre sighting, and kudos to Bruno's excellent eyesight for spotting this one, was a spider walking across one of the icy paths! We knew it was mild today, but that mild?

Now on to the birds. 13 birders participated in today's "Birders for Haitian Earthquake Relief" field trip. Our species count for the day totalled 19. Here is the rundown:

Mallard - 20, Common Merganser - 8, Cooper's Hawk - 1, Merlin - 1, Ring-billed Gull - 8, Herring Gull - 10, Great Black-backed Gull - 30, Rock Pigeon - 20, Downy Woodpecker - 5, Hairy Woodpecker - 2 , American Crow - 24, Common Raven - 1,
Black-capped Chickadee - 36, White-breasted Nuthatch - 4, Brown Creeper - 4,
European Starling - 4, Northern Cardinal - 5, American Goldfinch - 6, House Sparrow - 2

Thank you to those who made pledges in advance of the field trip. We had one $1 per species pledge; one $5 per species pledge; and one $10 per species pledge, plus one flat amount pledge of $50. Also, some of our group today had already sent in pledges to the Red Cross earlier this week. Those people have agreed to have us add their donations to our total for the day. Once I have all of those details, I'll post up our grand total.

If you would like to make a donation to the Canadian Red Cross Haitian Earthquake Relief cause as a part of our initiative today, please contact me either by e-mail or by telephone (BPQ #514-637-2141) and will add your donation to our total. Remember that every dollar collected will be matched by the Canadian government.

Thanks to everyone who supported this initiative and a special thanks to those who came out today to track down the birds. - Sheldon

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