Saturday, January 21, 2012

Bird Protection Quebec "Field Trip Report"

11 birders turned out on a cold (got to -18 C at one point!) and mostly gray, cloudy morning, fortunately without too much wind. With the exception of a few feeder locations, I think most of the birds decided to stay somewhere warm.

We began by touring the roads around St-Hubert Airport. That was a complete bust! We then headed east along Highway 30, with two Red-tailed Hawks seen along the way to Varennes. We explored several back-roads in the Varennes area. Two feeder locations yielded our largest number of birds of the day, including one surprise species, a Song Sparrow. We continued northwest through farmlands finally reaching Parc de la Frayere in Boucherville where another unexpected surprise awaited us. We had been on the look-out all day for Snow Bunting flocks. It appeared that we would make it through the morning without seeing a single one. Then, when you would least expect it, at the waterfront in Parc de la Frayere, looking for ducks and gulls on open water in the St. Lawrence, a flock of 10 Snow Buntings appeared on the ice in front of us, pecking away at seeds from bushes sticking up on a spit out of the shoreline! Finally, the fruit trees in the woods across the highway produced a group of American Robins.

So, we completed the day with 19 species. Here is the complete list. Common Merganser - 2,  Red-Tailed Hawk - 3,  Ring-billed Gull - 1, Great Black-backed Gull - 3, Rock Pigeon - 50, Mourning Dove - 50, Downy Woodpecker - 3, Hairy Woodpecker - 6, Blue Jay - 6, American Crow - 12, Black-capped Chickadee - 3, White-breasted Nuthatch - 4, American Robin - 10, European Starling - 8, American Tree Sparrow - 1, Song Sparrow - 1, Dark-eyed Junco - 4, Snow Bunting - 10, House Sparrow - 50

Grand harle - 2, Buse à queue rousse - 3, Goéland à bec cerclé - 1, Goéland marin - 3, Pigeon biset - 50, Tourterelle triste - 50, Pic mineur - 3, Pic chevelu - 6, Geai bleu - 6, Corneille d'Amérique - 12, Mésange à tête noire - 3, Sittelle à poitrine blanche - 4, Merle d'Amérique - 10, Étourneau sansonnet - 8, Bruant hudsonien - 1, Bruant chanteur - 1, Junco ardoisé - 4, plectophanes des neiges  - 10, Moineau domestique - 50
Thanks to everyone who participated, including two new BPQ members from St-Henri and a visitor from Indiana. - Sheldon Harvey

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