We did not stay long at the rendezvous point near the dam but did have a nice sighting of five Common Loons together right at the shoreline with two or three more farther out. Our first major stop was at the St-Timothée Marsh where a large number of ducks and geese greeted us along with a late American Bittern. Interestingly American Wigeon were the most prevalent ducks seeming to far outnumber other species. Also present were Gadwall, Mallards, Northern Pintails and hundreds of Canada Geese. A single Wood Duck and a lone White-winged Scoter were present on the canal. Just as we were about to leave the area a Peregrine Falcon buzzed the ducks and then perched on a distant snag.
We moved on to the ponds at the St-Louis-de-Gonzague bridge where a flock of 1000+ Snow Geese were resting. Very few of these were young birds which led us to speculate on this year's breeding success. Also present was a very large group of possibly 1000 diving ducks the majority of which were Ring-necked with scaup mixed in. Four American Coots were also present on the periphery of the group. On the small bay on the other side of the road from the ponds may have been one of most interesting sightings. One of the largest groups of Hooded Mergansers most of us had ever seen was present and putting on a great show of displaying and interacting. A quick count showed that at least 70 were in the group.
At this point only two of us made the final leg of our trip over to Hungry Bay which proved to be fairly quiet although we did add several more loons, some more Lesser Scaup and three Black Scoters.
As you will see from our list an almost complete absence of passerines in the area we visited kept our total species list very low.
Our complete list of 33 species included (with very approximate numbers for most duck and goose species):
Snow Goose - 1000+, Canada Goose - 1900+, Wood Duck - 1, Gadwall - 50+, American Wigeon - 200+, American Black Duck - 6, Mallard - 100+, Northern Pintail - 20+, Ring-necked Duck - 800+, Lesser Scaup - 80+, White-winged Scoter - 1, Black Scoter - 3, Bufflehead - 3, Common Goldeneye - 8, Hooded Merganser - 75, Common Loon - 10, Pied-billed grebe - 3, Double-crested Cormorant - 50, American Bittern - 1, Peregrine Falcon - 1, American Coot - 4, Ring-billed Gull - 30, Herring Gull - 5, Greater Black-backed Gull - 6, Rock Dove - 30, Downy Woodpecker - 1, American Crow - 10, Black-capped Chickadee - 6, American Robin - 30, European Starling - 40, Cedar Waxwing - 1, American Tree Sparrow - 1, Red-winged Blackbird - 50
Oie des neiges - 1000, Bernache du Canada - 1900 +, Canard branchu - 1, Canard chipeau - 50 +, Canard d'Amérique - 200 +, Canard noir - 6, Canard colvert - 100 +, Canard pilet - 20 +, Fuligule à collier - 800 +, Fuligule à tête noire - 80 +, Macreuse brune - 1, Macreuse à bec jaune - 3, Petit Garrot - 3, Garrot à oeil d'or - 8, Harle couronné - 75, Plongeon huard - 10, Grèbe à bec bigarré - 3, Cormoran à aigrettes - 50, Butor d'Amérique - 1, Faucon pèlerin - 1, Foulque d'Amérique - 4, Goéland-à bec cerclé - 30, Goéland argenté - 5, Goéland marin - 6, Pigeon biset - 30, Pic mineur - 1, Corneille d'Amérique - 10, Mésange à tête noire - 6, Merle d'Amérique - 30, Étourneau sansonnet - 40, Jaseur d'Amérique - 1, Bruant hudsonien - 1, Carouge à épaulettes - 50
Thanks to everyone who came out for an enjoyable morning. - Wayne Grubert