Sunday, July 19, 2009

Summer Series of Birding 2009 - Trip #4 Report

The dark and dreary conditions early yesterday morning in the Montreal region may have discouraged many people from venturing out for the field trip at Parc régional St-Bernard, in St-Bernard-de-Lacolle, QC. However, it was a just another case of "never trust the weather reports". We had two very light sprinklings of rain throughout the morning. The rest of the time was very pleasant with cloudy conditions mixed with several long periods of sunshine and
pleasant temperatures. Only 4 birders decided to challenge the elements but we succeeded in collecting an even dozen species per person for the day, for a total of 48.

The park itself offers an extensive network of both easy and difficult trails to walk. The park is used for both snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter. Some of the major trails are kept clear throughout the year but some of the secondary trails were heavily overgrown and inaccessible. Overall the park offers 210 hectares to explore. A species list maintained by the park now has over 175 species seen on the grounds. Numerous well stocked feeders are
maintained year-round just across from the main chalet. Bluebird boxes are installed, and used, adjacent to the main parking lot.

33 species were seen within the boundaries of Parc régional itself. Another 15 species were added in a side-trip south of Lacolle, primarily on ch. de la Barbotte, between Highway 202 and the U.S. border, along the western shore of the Richelieu River.

The highlight of our day was an 'up close and personal" encounter with a young Ruffed Grouse on ch. de la Barbotte. We were just about to pull away from a stop to check out the waterfront when he/she walkout out on to the road in front of our vehicles. We got out and were able to spend quite some time at arm's length away from the bird. The bird was not the least bit afraid of us, but seemed as interested in us as we were with him/her. At one point, we almost thought the bird was ready to jump in the van with us as we prepared to depart. On the return trip, the bird was spotted again, this time with a second grouse. Click photo to enlarge

So, here is the species list for the day. I will post the birds seen in the park first, followed by those seen elsewhere.

Ring-billed Gull (10), Mourning Dove (10), Downy Woodpecker (1), Eastern Wood-Pewee (2), Eastern Kingbird (4), Red-eyed Vireo (6), Blue Jay (6), American Crow (6), Barn Swallow (10), Black-capped Chickadee (12), Red-breasted Nuthatch (1), White-breasted Nuthatch (1), House Wren (2), Eastern Bluebird (2), Wood Thrush (3), American Robin (20), Gray Catbird (1), European Starling (30), Cedar Waxwing (10), Black-throated Blue Warbler (1), American Redstart (2), Ovenbird (1), Common Yellowthroat (2), Chipping Sparrow (10), Song Sparrow (20), White-throated Sparrow (3), Northern Cardinal (3), Rose-breasted Grosbeak (6), Red-winged Blackbird (8), Common Grackle (6), Purple Finch (2), House Finch (1), American Goldfinch (20).

Wood Duck (1), Ruffed Grouse (2), Wild Turkey (6), Virginia Rail (1), Killdeer (1), Spotted Sandpiper (1), Rock Pigeon (25), Northern Flicker (2), Great Crested Flycatcher (1), Warbling Vireo (1), Tree Swallow (2), Marsh Wren (1), Yellow Warbler (2), Swamp Sparrow (1), House Sparrow (15)
Nature Blog Network