Saturday, April 11, 2015

Bird Protection Quebec "Field Trip Report" April 11

20 birders joined for today’s trip to Plaisance National Park.
The weather was pretty chilly and windy, but became warmer as we moved through the day. Around midday, in protected areas,  there was even a very nice feeling of warmth and spring. It was at times only…
The day started with quite some action over the Outaouais river, as we were gathering for the start of the trip in Grenville.  Several species of waterfowl as well as a Bald Eagle and a Northern Harrier were seen.
We then headed to Thurso (western end of Plaisance Park) for a couple of hours, before visiting the Main Presqu’Ile area for end of the morning – late lunch.
In Plaisance’s Park, birding was not always easy because of the wind and because most areas, except a few patches on the  Outaouais, were still frozen. Today’s motto became « you can’t imagine how it will be like here in a week… it will be filled with ducks! But now, it is a bit frozen… »
That being said, if waterfowl (except Canada geese) were not in huge number, we managed to see 12 species of them, including Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck. Bufflehead and Hooded Merganser.
Raptors were also very present today with 9 species observed : Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk, Bald Eagle, Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, Northern Harrier, American Kestrel and Merlin. Plus Turkey Vulture.
Songbirds were not too active today given the cold weather and wind, and singers were rare except for a few courageous Song Sparrows that were claiming their territory.
Other noticeable birds observed during the day included a pair of Sandhill Cranes, a Ruffed Grouse and a lonely Red-breasted Nuthatch in a residential area as well a flock of 30+ Snow Bunting flying over the river.
Interestingly no Snow Goose was observed DURING the trip today. BUT a pair of birders within the group, tried their best to add the specie to the count given that they saw several hundreds of them before the start of the trip in Southern Ontario … after taking the wrong road after missing the exit to Hawsbury. Unfortunately, the rest of the group took the right exit and missed the geese so we were not able to count those - BPQ rules! :-)
Overall 46 species were observed. Birds of the day for the group: Sandhill Cranes as well as Turkey Vultures for their amazing low soaring movements seen at close distance.
Details of birds observed can be found in the ebird lists below.
Thanks to all who came for this trip. It was fun to bird together!
And don’t forget that next week is THE week, and it will take place in Baie-du-Febvre. - 
Frederic Hareau

1800 Canada Goose, 26 American Black Duck, 42 Mallard, 26 Northern Pintail, 14 Ring-necked Duck, 2 Green-winged Teal, 11 Bufflehead, 10 Common Goldeneye, 32 Hooded Merganser, 20 Common Merganser, 1 Ruffed grouse, 3 Great Blue Heron, 22 Turkey Vulture, 5 Northern Harrier, 1 Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2 Cooper's Hawk, 2 Bald Eagle, 3 Red-shouldered Hawk, 6 Red-tailed Hawk, 4 Rough-legged Hawk, 4 Sandhill Crane, 2 Killdeer, 16 Ring-billed Gull, 26 Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon), 4 Downy Woodpecker, 2 Hairy Woodpecker, 5 American Kestrel, 4 Merlin, 1 Eastern phoebe, 6 Blue Jay, 44 American Crow, 2 Common raven, 2 Black-capped Chickadee, 1 Red-breasted nuthatch, 2 White-breasted Nuthatch, 14 American Robin, 16 European Starling, 60 Snow Bunting, 3 American tree sparrow, 11 Song Sparrow, 1 Dark-eyed junco, 36 Red-winged Blackbird, 26 Common Grackle, 1 Brown-headed cowbird, 4 American goldfinch, 3 House sparrow

1800 Bernache du Canada, 26 Canard noir, 42 Canard colvert, 26 Canard pilet, Canard 14 Fuligule à collier, 2 Sarcelle d'hiver, 11 Petit Garrot, 10 Garrot à oeil d'or, 32 Harle couronné, 20 Grand Harle, 1 Gélinotte huppée, 3 Grand héron, 22 Urubu à tête rouge, 5 Busard Saint-Martin, 1 Épervier brun, 2 Épervier de Cooper, 2 Pygargue à tête blanche, 3 Buse à épaulettes, 6 Buse à queue rousse, 4 Buse pattue, 4 Grue du Canada, 2 Pluvier kildir, 16 Goéland à bec cerclé, 26 Pigeon biset, 4 Pic mineur, 2 Pic chevelu, 5 Crécerelle d'Amérique, 4 Faucon émerillon, 1 Moucherolle phébi, 6 Geai bleu, 44 Corneille d'Amérique, 2 Grand corbeau, 2 Mésange à tête noire, 1 sittelle à poitrine rousse, 2 Sittelle à poitrine blanche, 14 Merle d'Amérique, 16 Étourneau sansonnet, 60 Bruant des neiges, 3 Bruant hudsonien, 11 Bruant chanteur, 1 Junco ardoisé, 36 carouge à épaulettes, 26 Quiscale bronzé, 1 Vacher à tête brune, 4 Chardonneret jaune, 3 Moineau domestique

Plaisance Park – Thurso
Plaisance Park – Presqu’ile

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