Lasalle, Verdun: Parc des Rapides
I was joined by a group of 24 birders. We had a visitor from Spain as a special member of the group.
We started our field trip at the parc des Rapides where we were welcomed by Red-winged Blackbirds. From there, our interest went from a cute American mink that was running along the shore to a group of 5 Wild Turkeys, standing on a tree at île aux Chèvres, probably feeding. Near that tree, a Great Blue Heron was standing on a nest, by itself, but did not stay there too long. We then headed to the eastern tip of the park. That’s where we noticed, looking northeast, a dark form on the ice at great distance. Opinions ranged from an eagle to an owl to a rock …
Leaving the park, we continued on to the belvedere at the end of Lloyd George street . From there we scanned the river. Some people of the group were able to find again the still not formally identified «form». From that point of view, the black and white pattern on the «form» have clarified the identification. It was eventually seen flying after some ducks, which (as some mentioned) eliminated the possibility of a rock … Anyway, at that point, it was obvious that it was indeed a Snowy Owl, which, despite an invasion of the species this year, remains an interesting sighting for Verdun.
That being settled, we were able to concentrate on other stuff but unfortunately, duck species were scarce: beside Common Goldeneyed and Common Mergansers, we managed to see only a few Scaups, in flight mostly. We also had some discussions on gull identification, as we were looking at an adult Glaucous Gull. Another stop further east along the river did not produce additional species.
The dozen of us remaining then headed to parc Angrignon for a short walk. We checked two trees that are often visited by Eastern Screech-Owls. But, alas, not that morning, to the great despair of one member of our group!.
Thank you everyone for coming and making this field trip a warm event, despite the winter that drags on too long! A special thanks to Wayne for his many interesting comments on birds.- Diane Demers
Here is the list of birds seen (27 species): Canada Goose (15), American Black Duck (6), Mallard (20), Greater Scaup (10), Common Goldeneye (200), Hooded Merganser (3), Common Merganser (45), Wild Turkey (5), Great blue Heron (1), Cooper’s Hawk (2), Ring-billed Gull (75), Herring Gull (6), Glaucous Gull (1), Great Black-backed Gull (15), Rock Pigeon (2), Snowy Owl (1), Downy Woodpecker (3), American Crow (25), Black-capped chickadee (15), White-breasted Nuthatch (6), Brown Creeper (1), American Robin (6), European Starling (20), Northern Cardinal (2), Red-winged Blackbird (6), Common Grackle (4), House sparrow (10)
Bernache du Canada (15), Canard noir (6), Canard colvert (20),Fuligule milouinan (10), Garrot à peil d'or (200), Harle couronné (3), Grand Harle (45), Dindon sauvage (5), Grand héron (1), Épervier de Cooper (2), Goéland à bec cerclé (75), Goéland argenté (6), Goéland bourgmestre (1), Goéland marin (15), Pigeon biset (2), Harfang des neiges (1), Pic mineur (3), Corneille d'Amérique (25), Mésange à tête noire (15), Sittelle à poitrine blanche (6), Grimpereau brun (1), Merle d'Amérique (6), Étourneau sansonnet, 20), Cardinal rouge (2), Carouge à épaulettes (6), Quiscale bronzé (4), Moineau domestique (10)