Thursday, July 31, 2014

Summer Series of Birding - Trip #5 - Saturday, August 2

This week we will head to a destination that we last visited in July 2011; Parc Nature Pointe des Cascades, south of Highway 20 in Pointe des Cascades, QC, adjacent to the entrance to the Soulanges Canal.

Pointe des Cascades offers a variety of habitats: wooded areas, sandy & marshy waterfront and open water. The area is made up of a peninsula and two islands, Ile Joubert & Ile des Cascades, located at the point where the Riviere des Outaouais meets the St. Lawrence River. There are several walking paths through wooded areas leading up to the shoreline, offering excellent views out on to the water.

DESTINATION: Parc Nature Pointe des Cascades, Pointe des Cascades, QC
TIME: 8 am
MEETING PLACE: Parking lot of Au Vieux Duluth Restaurant, 250 Harwood Blvd (Highway 20) at the corner of Highway 338 (ch. De Lotbiniere) in Vaudreuil-Dorion.


DURATION: Half-day trip

Driving Instructions: Take Highway 20 West to Vaudreuil-Dorion. At the intersection of Highway 20 (Harwood) and Highway 338 (ch. Lotbiniere), you will see the Au Vieux Duluth restaurant at 250 Harwood, on the south-west corner of the intersection.

Itinerary: From the meeting point in Vaudreuil-Dorion, we will drive to the parking lot of the Parc Nature Pointe des Cascades. Note: There is no charge for entry to the park or for parking. This will be predominantly a walking trip through the park. Time permitting, we may explore some marshy areas west of Pointe des Cascades, driving west along chemin du Fleuve.

For further information, please contact Sheldon at 450-462-1459, or on Saturday morning at 514-637-2141.

Sheldon Harvey

Monday, July 28, 2014

Bird Protection Quebec, Summer Series 2014 - Field trip #4 Report

13 people participated in Saturday's field trip to Ste-Martine, St-Etienne-de-Beauharnois and St-Timothee. The weather was very pleasant with a mix of sun and cloud, and mild with low humidity. All three locations produced a good selection of birds. The water level at Ste-Martine has dropped considerably, exposing a lot of rocks and vegetation; nice habitat for some shorebirds, ducks, terns, gulls and a very active Osprey. We took a long stroll along the bicycle path leading to one of the large ponds at St-Etienne. The fields leading to the pond produced large numbers of swallows, plus sparrows, bobolinks and even a few horned larks. In fact, for those who have commented on the low number of swallows this year, a visit to St-Etienne would help to comfort your concerns. Our last stop at St-Timothee provided one of the highlights of the day; brief sightings of no less than 3 Least Bitterns. However, St-Timothee also produced some of the puzzles of the day as we discovered a number of ducklings. Unfortunately we were confused as to exactly which species of ducklings we were observing. We weren't sure which duckings belonged to which parent birds! Very confusing.

All in all though, a nice mild summer day of birding with a nice collection of 56 species. A little depressing to see several very large flocks of red-winged blackbirds and starlings beginning their pre-fall migration activities...and it's not even August yet! Here is the list. Numbers, in many cases, are rough estimates. - Sheldon Harvey

Canada Goose 12 Wood Duck 4 American Wigeon 3 Mallard 80 Redhead 8 Ring-necked Duck 6 Hooded Merganser 3 Pied-billed Grebe 12 Double-crested Cormorant 4 Least Bittern 3
Great Blue Heron 24 Great Egret 4 Black-crowned Night Heron 2 Turkey Vulture 2 Osprey 1 Northern Harrier 1 Common Moorhen 3 Killdeer 8 Greater Yellowlegs 1 Lesser Yellowlegs 12 Spotted Sandpiper 14 Semipalmated Sandpiper 1 Least Sandpiper 1 Ring-billed Gull 80
Caspian Tern 1 Common Tern 30 Black Tern 12 Rock Pigeon 20 Mourning Dove 12 Chimney Swift 12 Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1 Belted Kingfisher 3 Downy Woodpecker 3 Hairy Woodpecker 1 Eastern Kingbird 4 Warbling Vireo 1 American Crow 24 Horned Lark 8
Tree Swallow 300+ Bank Swallow 6 Barn Swallow 24 Marsh Wren 1 American Robin 25
Gray Catbird 1 European Starling 200+ Cedar Waxwing 10 Yellow Warbler 1 Common Yellowthroat 6 Chipping Sparrow 6 Savannah Sparrow 10 Song Sparrow 12 Bobolink 20
Red-winged Blackbird 300+ Common Grackle 12 American Goldfinch 15 House Sparrow 4

Bernache du Canada 12 Canard branchu 4 Canard d'Amérique 3 Canard colvert 80 Fuligule à tete rouge  8 Fuligule à collier 6 Harle couronné 3 Grèbe à bec bigarré 12 Cormoran à aigrettes 4 Petit Blongios 3 Grand héron 24 Grande aigrette 4 Bihoreau gris 2 Urubu à tête rouge 2 Balbuzard pêcheur 1 Busard Saint-Martin 1 Gallinule poule d'eau 3 Pluvier kildir 8 Grand Chevalier 1 Petit Chevalier 12 Chevalier grivelé 14 Bécasseau semipalmé 1 Bécasseau minuscule 1 Goéland à bec cerclé 80 Sterne caspienne 1 Sterne pierregarin 30 Guifette noire 12 Pigeon biset 20 Tourterelle triste 12 Martinet ramoneur 12 Colibri à gorge rubis 1 Martin-pêcheur 3 Pic mineur 3 Pic chevelu 1 Tyran tritri 4 Viréo mélodieux 1 Corneille d'Amérique 24 Alouette hausse-col 8 Hirondelle bicolore 300 + Hirondelle de rivage 6 Hirondelle rustique 24 Troglodyte des marais 1 Merle d'Amérique 25 Moqueur chat 1 Étourneau sansonnet 200 + Jaseur d'Amérique 10 Paruline jaune 1 Paruline masquée 6 Bruant familier 6 Bruant des prés 10 Bruant chanteur 12 Goglu des prés 20 Carouge à épaulettes 300 + Quiscale bronzé 12 Chardonneret jaune 15 Moineau domestique 4

Sightings for Monday July 28

Ste-Pétronille: A Whimbrel flew by in front me of  the end of rue Horatio Walker. I lost sight of it, in the direction of the bridge. It is possible that he stopped there ...

There were also 14 Semipalmated Sandpipers and 5 Bonaparte gulls at the end of the rocks.

Un Courlis corlieu vient de passer devant moi en vol au bout de la rue Horatio Walker à Ste-Pétronille. Je l'ai perdu de vue en direction du pont. Il est possible qu'il se soit arrêté là...

Il y a aussi 14 Bécasseaux semipalmés et 5 Mouettes de Bonaparte posés au bout des roches. - Gérard Cyr

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summer Series of Birding - Field Trip #4 - Saturday, July 26

This Saturday we will do a visit to some old favourite spots in Sainte-Martine, St-Etienne de Beauharnois and St-Timothee, on the south shore. This will be a combination of a driving and walking trip.

Date: Saturday, July 26, 2014
Time: 8 am
Meeting spot: The new observation platform at the dam located at rue du Pont and St-Jean-Baptiste (Highway 138) in Sainte-Martine, Quebec - see Google map
Duration: Half-day, combination driving/walking trip
NOTES: Spotting scopes will be very helpful on this trip.

Directions to meeting spot: There are two main routes that can be used.

1) Using Mercier Bridge: Cross Mercier Bridge from Montreal. Stay right off the bridge and take Highway 138 through Kahnawake, Chateauguay, Mercier and in to Sainte-Martine. In the town of Sainte-Martine, look for a Subway restaurant on the right. This is just before arriving at rue du Pont. Turn right on rue du Pont, cross the narrow bridge over the Chateauguay River and there will be a new welcome centre and a row of parking spots on the right. This is the meeting spot.
2) Using Highway 30: coming from either direction on Highway 30 take Exit 26 for Ste-Martine-ch. de la Beauce (Highway 205). Take Highway 205 south towards Sainte-Martine. Follow Highway 205 into Sainte-Martine and turn right on to Highway 138 (rue St-Jospeh). Follow Highway 138 to rue du Pont. Turn right on rue du Pont, cross the narrow bridge over the Chateauguay River and there will be a new welcome centre and a row of parking spots on the right. This is the meeting spot.

ITINERARY: We will start at the new observation platform overlooking the Chateauguay River in Sainte-Martine, looking for waterfowl, early shorebirds, songbirds, etc.
From Sainte-Martine we will follow country backroads to St-Etienne-de-Beauharnois. Here we will park at the entrance to a new stretch of bike path and walk over to the ponds. This is a fairly new access point to the ponds at St-Etienne, not the old access point from the farm at the end of St-Joseph which some of you may be familiar with. Here we will be looking for waterfowl, marsh birds, grassland species and songbirds.
From St-Etienne we will drive to the marshes at St-Timothee. Here we will be using the bike path to cross the marsh down towards the edge of the Beauharnois Canal. There is also an observation tower on this path. Here we will again be looking for waterfowl, marsh birds, songbirds, etc.
Along the route between locations, we may stop from time to time at interesting spots in the farmland areas where grassland birds may be present.

Should you need to reach me on the morning of the field trip, please call 514-637-2141. For any questions regarding the trip, please contact me by phone at 450-462-1459 or by e-mail.

Sheldon Harvey

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sightings for Wednesday July 23

Québec: 9am this morning, Wednesday, when passing along the St. Charles River, a Black skimmer stood with some gulls. 

It was virtually almost in the center of the wide part of the river, a small earthen platform that formed the rather low river.

To locate the spot: from the parking lot of the Roche-Bobois and Galerie du Meuble, rue de Marie-de-l'Incarnation, follow the path to right (with a few stairs down), about 50 meters after the metal railing.

Bec-en-ciseau 09h ce matin, mercredi, lorsqu'en passant le long de la rivière Saint-Charles, un bec-en-ciseau se tenait avec quelques goélands.

Il était pour ainsi dire presque au centre de la largeur de la rivière, sur une petite plateforme terreuse que forma la rivière plutôt basse.

Pour vous situer le lieu: à partir du stationnement de la Roche-Bobois et Galerie du Meuble, rue de Marie-de-l'Incarnation, suivre le sentier à droite (avec quelques escaliers à descendre), comptez 50 mètres environ après la fin du garde-fou métallique. - David Wexteen,

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Le Nichoir Open House July 19, 2014

Bird Protection Quebec participated yesterday in the annual Open House event at Le Nichoir, the bird rehabilitation facility in Hudson, Quebec. It was a beautiful day with a great turn-out. The highlight of the day for many was the visit to the new aviary installed recently at Le Nichoir. There were tours throughout the day of Le Nichoir's facilities as well as numerous kiosks from a number of different groups and organizations including Nature Conservancy Canada and BPQ.

Chris Cloutier conducted a number of bird walks on the grounds of Le Nichoir providing many visitors a chance to see some of the bird life in the area, including the most popular birds of the day, several Indigo Buntings.

The BPQ booth was a popular spot throughout the day with many of the visitors stopping by to learn more about our organization. We distributed many BPQ pamphlets and answered numerous questions about our activities, our field trips and our conservation efforts. A number of people provided us with their names and e-mail addresses. Each will be receiving a sample copy of our Song Sparrow newsletter, plus some additional information about BPQ. We hope to attract some new members as a result of our efforts. We were also able to sell a couple of copies of our BPQ history books as well as collect a number of donations from appreciative supporters.

I would like to thank Jean Demers, Clemence Soulard, Wayne Grubert and Mary Ellen Graham for volunteering to spend their day with me behind the BPQ table to promote BPQ. Your effort and assistance were greatly appreciated. - Sheldon Harvey

Sightings for Sunday July 20

Hemmingford: This morning, a Clay-colored Sparrow sang on top of a spruce behind 577 James Fisher, in exactly the same spot where I had seen it 2 years ago

Ce matin, un Bruant des plaines chantait au sommet d'une épinette derrière le 577 James-Fisher à Hemmingford, exactement au même endroit où je l'avais observé il y a 2 ans. - Pierre Bannon

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sightings for Saturday July 19

Rivière-Ouellechemin de la Pointe: Black skimmer moved along the river where we watched at approximately 7:30 to 8:00. At that time, he left, flying to the camping area. Many observers are there headed also, but without us. Twenty Red-throated loons and Razorbills later at the Rivière-Ouelle dock.

Bec-en-ciseaux noir s'est déplacé ensuite le long de la rivière où nous l'avons observé de 7:30 à 8:00 environ. À ce moment, il venait de repartir en vol vers le secteur du camping. Plusieurs observateurs s'y sont dirigés eux aussi, mais sans nous. Une vingtaine de Plongeons catmarin et de Petits pingouins par la suite au quai de Rivière-Ouelle. - Anne Déry
Ville Lasalle: A Bald eagle! Observation at  parc des Rapides aound île aux hérons (Heron Island)

Un pygargue à tête blanche! Observation du parc des Rapides vers l'île aux hérons. Photo - Jean-Marc Lacoste

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

2014 Summer Series of Birding - Saturday, July 19 - Open House at Le Nichoir

Rather than schedule a regular BPQ Summer Field Trip this coming Saturday, we will instead be participating in Le Nichoir's Open House event at 637 Main Street in Hudson. BPQ will have an information booth set up at Le Nichoir for the day from 10 am to 2 pm informing visitors to the event of BPQ and its activities. We are encouraging everyone to drop in at the open house to learn more about Le Nichoir and the work they do for our feathered friends. There will be guided tours of the facility, free birdwatching walks, activities for the children and much more

Full details of the event can be found on the following webpage

If you are a BPQ member and you are planning on attending the event, we are looking for a few people to help staff the BPQ information booth at the event. If you are interested in helping out by talking to visitors about BPQ please drop me a note e-mail. We look forward to meeting everyone in attendance at the open house. - Sheldon Harvey

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Bird Protection Quebec, Summer Series 2014 - Field trip #2 Report

Ten birders made the trek to Cooper Marsh near Lancaster, Ontario yesterday and were welcomed with partly cloudy skies and seasonable temperatures ranging from 18°C to 27°C. Very light breezes made for a very pleasant morning with the biting insect population being "tolerable".

For those familiar with the area the main compound containing the marsh with boardwalks is still in a state of water level drawdown and vegetation is thick with very little open water. As a result the birds that one would normally associate with a marshy area were few and far between (ducks, rails...etc...). The highlights of this area were two pairs of Northern Harriers who were hunting over different sections of the compound and put on a continual show of catching prey and then participating in numerous mid-air transfers of "breakfast" before disappearing briefly into the high vegetation. No doubt they were feeding young hidden from our view. Their continuous acrobatics were a delight and earned them honours as one of our two "birds of the day."

The second of our "birds of the day" were Black-billed Cuckoos first heard near the parking lot and later seen near the start of the boardwalk at the visitor centre. The birds lived up to their reputation as being skulkers in the thick vegetation offering only brief partial views but good enough to be ticked as "lifers" for several of our participants.

Honourable mentions go to families of Great-crested Flycatchers and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers.

Although our species and overall numbers counts were both low it was an extremely enjoyable morning with nice company, a few good laughs and some excellent sightings.

Thanks to everyone who came out.

Our complete list of 43 species is below. A report will be forwarded to ebird. - Wayne Grubert

Wood Duck - 4, Mallard - 1, Double-crested Cormorant - 2, American bittern - 1, Great Blue Herons - 2, Green Heron - 3, Osprey - 2, Northern Harrier - 4, Merlin - 2, Ring-billed Gull - 20, Mourning Dove - 6, Black-billed Cuckoo - 2, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - 4, Downy Woodpecker - 3, Northern Flicker - 4, Eastern Wood-Pewee - 1 (heard), Alder/Willow (Traill's) Flycatcher - 1, Eastern Phoebe - 2, Great Crested Flycatcher - 5, Warbling Vireo - 3, Red-eyed Vireo - 5, Blue Jay - 2, American Crow - 6, Purple martin - 2, Tree Swallow - 10, Barn Swallow - 6, Black-capped Chickadee - 4, White-breasted Nuthatch - 1, Veery - 2 (heard), American Robin - 10, Gray Catbird - 6, European Starling - 6, Cedar Waxwing - 12, Yellow Warbler - 10, Common Yellowthroat - 10, Chipping Sparrow - 3, Song Sparrow - 10, Swamp Sparrow - 10, Rose-breasted Grosbeak - 1, Red-winged Blackbird - 20, Common Grackle - 6, Baltimore Oriole - 1 (heard), American Goldfinch - 6

Canard branchu - 4, Canard colvert - 1, Cormoran à aigrettes - 2, butor d'Amérique - 1,  Grands Hérons - 2, Héron vert - 3, Balbuzard pêcheur - 2, Busard Saint-Martin - 4, Falcon émerillon - 2, Goéland à bec cerclé - 20, Tourterelle triste - 2, Pic maculé - 4, Pic mineur - 3, Pic flamboyant - 4, Pioui de l'Est - 6, Coulicou à bec noir 1 (entendu), Moucherolle des aulnes / saules (de Traill) - 1, Moucherolle phébi - 2, Tyran huppé - 5, Viréo mélodieux - 3, Viréo aux yeux rouges - 5, Geai bleu - 2, Corneille d'Amérique - 6, Hirondelle noire - 2, Hirondelle bicolore - 10, Hirondelle rustique - 6, Mésange à tête noir - 4, Sittelle à poitrine blanche - 1, Grive fauve - 2 (entendu), Merle d'Amérique - 10, Moqueur chat - 6, Étourneau sansonnet - 6, Jaseur d'Amérique - 12, Paruline jaune - 10, Paruline masquée - 10, Bruant familier - 3, Bruant chanteur - 10, Bruant des marais - 10, Cardinal à poitrine rose - 1, Carouge à épaulettes - 20, Quiscale bronzé - 6, Oriole de Baltimore - 1 (entendu), Chardonneret jaune - 6

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

2014 Summer Series of Birding - Trip #2 - Saturday, July 12

Samedi 12 juillet – Saturday July 12
Cooper marsh Lancaster, Ontario
Wayne Grubert 450-458-5498 e-mail 
Cell (PLEASE use only on morning of trip) 514-774-0811

7:30 AM Take Highway 20 (Ontario Highway 401) and exit at Lancaster, Ontario (exit 814). Follow Highway 2 west, and follow signs to Cooper Marsh. Allow 1 to 1-1/2 hours travel time. A walking trip. Half day. 

7h30 À partir de l'autoroute 20 (Ontario 401), prendre la sortie pour Lancaster, Ontario (sortie 814). Prendre l'autoroute 2 ouest et suivre les indications pour le marais Cooper. Prévoir entre 1h et 1h30 de voyagement. Excursion à pied. Demi-journée.
Note that if you need a pit stop before reaching the marsh there are plenty of fast food places as you get off the 401. 

Hope to see you Saturday. Remember gas is cheaper in Ontario so plan on arriving without a full tank! - Wayne
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