Sunday, November 20, 2016

Bird Protection Quebec field trip report, Saturday November 19

21 birders may their way through the fog on Saturday morning for a field trip starting at Fort Chambly & the Chambly Basin, moving south along the Richelieu River, ending up in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu. Visibility was close to zero as we started the trip at 8 am. After spending some time at the waterfront behind Fort Chambly peering through the fog, hoping that it would lift, we decided to move on close to the Yule Bridge on the Richelieu River to look for one of the target species of the day. We were not denied, even with the fog, as 4 Long-tailed Ducks appeared attracting not just our attention, but the attention of another birding club that was looking for the same targets. The fog refused to lift so we decided to move south to St-Jean-sur-Richelieu with the hope of seeing several of the duck and goose species reported there earlier in the week. The fog remained with only minor breaks into the late morning. We did have a nice selection of ducks and Canada Geese, but only a small group of 10 snow geese was initially spotted. Charlie Nims suggested moving just a little further south to get a closer look at some of the birds on the river. Just as we arrived at our last stop the skies came alive with the sounds and sights of waves of thousands of snow geese returning to the river, presumably from feeding time in the nearby farm fields. Almost magically, the fog lifted, the sun emerged and the temperature began to rise, leading to a spectacular end to the day's field trip

Thanks to everyone who made their way through the fog! - Sheldon Harvey

Here is the list. Numbers, particularly for the geese, are definitely rough estimates.

Snow Goose 12, 000+, Canada Goose 3,000+, American Black Duck 12, Mallard 100, Northern Pintail 3, Greater Scaup 10, Lesser Scaup 40, Long-tailed Duck 4, Common Goldeneye 750, Hooded Merganser 50, Common Merganser 250, Double-crested Cormorant 12, Peregrine Falcon 1, Ring-billed Gull 100+, Great Black-backed Gull 2, Rock Pigeon 10, Downy Woodpecker 1, Blue Jay 2, American Crow 30, Black-capped Chickadee 7, White-breasted Nuthatch 1, American Robin 1, European Starling 8, American Tree Sparrow 3, Dark-eyed Junco 12, Northern Cardinal 1, House Sparrow 6

Oie des neiges 12, 000+, Bernache du Canada 3 000+, Canard noir 12, Canard colvert 100, Canad pilet 3, Fuligule milouinan 10, Petit fuligule 40, Harelde kakawi 4, Garrot à oeil d'or 750, Harle couronné 50, Grand harle 250, Cormoran à aigrette 12, Faucon pèlerin 1, GoGoélandland à bec circlé 100+, Goéland argenté 100+, Goéland marin 2, Pigeon biset 10, Pic mineur 1, Geai bleue 2, Corneille d'Amérique 30, Mésange à tête noire, Sittelle à poitrine blanche1, Merle d'Amérique 1, Étourneau sansonnet 8, Bruant Hudsonien 3, Junco ardoisé 12, Cardinal rouge 1 Moineau domestique 6

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