It wasn't exactly the spring-like conditions we had hoped for in early April but nine birders enjoyed a walk around Cap-St-Jacques Nature Park yesterday. Skies were cloudy throughout our trip but the rain/snow held off. Temperatures held steady around 3°C but persistent strong breezes made it feel colder in open area. Woods and fields were still heavily snow covered for this time of year which limited where we were able to travel. Open water on the river was extremely limited for this late date.
Bird numbers, both by species and total numbers counts, were low. It still seems many have been held back by our late spring. This was most evident in the scarcity of Red-winged Blackbirds, Grackles and their relatives which normally by early April are seen in good numbers. Our waterfowl numbers were low but we did manage eight species of ducks and a Horned Grebe was a nice surprise. Cedar waxwings continued their good showing this year with several groups encountered including one of about 80 birds which were very obliging and gave us good close-up views.
Our complete list of 32 species includes: Horned Grebe (Grebe esclavon)- 1, Turkey Vulture (Urubu à tête rouge)- 2, Canada Goose (Bernache du Canada)- 24, American Black Duck (Canard noir)- 4, Mallard (Canard colvert)- 8, Northern Pintail (Canard pilet)- 7, Ring-necked Duck (Fuligule à collier)- 4, Bufflehead (Petit garrot)- 1, Common Goldeneye (Garrot à oeil d'or) - 12, Common Merganser (Grande harle)- 5, Red-breasted Merganser (Harle huppé)- 2, Unidentified Raptor (Buse pattue)- 1, Ring-billed Gull (Goéland à bec circlé)- 24, Great Black-backed Gull (Goéland marin)- 4, Mourning Dove (Tourterelle triste)- 3, Downy Woodpecker (Pic mineur)- 3, Hairy Woodpecker (Pic chevelu)- 2, Pileated Woodpecker (Grand pic)- 1, Blue Jay (Geai bleu)- 6, American Crow (Corneille d'Amérique) - 20, Black-capped Chickadee (Mésange à tête noir)- 10, White-breasted Nuthatch (Sittelle à poitrine blanche)- 4, American Robin (Merle d'Amérique)- 12, European Starling (Étourneau sansonnet) - 20, Cedar Waxwing (Jaseur d'Amerique)- 100, Song Sparrow (Bruant chanteur)- 8, Dark-eyed Junco (Junco ardoisé)- 6, Northern cardinal (Cardinal rouge)- 8, Red-winged Blackbird (Carouge à epaulettes) - 3, Common Grackle (Quiscale bronzé)- 2, Brown-headed Cowbird (Vacher à tête brune)- 1, American Goldfinch (Chardonneret jaune)- 8
Thanks to everyone who came out for a nice morning spent with good company,