Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Brown Thrasher, Prévost, Quebec, June 21, 2014

Brown Thrasher Toxostoma rufum
Brown Thrasher Toxostoma rufum
  While staying at a friend's house in Prévost the other day, I had the pleasure of finally catching up with a Brown Thrasher - a species I've somehow managed to miss until now. Quite a striking bird to look at. I got long looks at it hopped around the edge of the garden and foraged in the scrub. Later it just lingered in a tree with an insect in its mouth - perhaps reluctant to reveal its nearby nest?
  My friend told me that last year a cat raided a Brown Thrasher nest (they nest on the ground) in his yard and killed the young.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Morgan Arboretum, Montreal, June 18, 2014

White Admiral Limenitis arthemis
Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis
White-tailed Deer Odocoileus virginianus
Mystery rump (terrible picture, I know)
Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas
Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas
Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas

  A quick jaunt through the Morgan Arboretum with birding companions Dan and Helly turned into a grim death march, thanks to the clouds of voracious and merciless mosquitoes. When we weren’t waving our swollen hands around like idiots in a vain effort to fend off the mozzies, we managed to get decent looks at a few cracking summer birds. In addition to the birds listed below, we heard an interesting bird call coming from the dense treetop foliage. To my ears, it most sounded like a (Eurasian) Grey Nightjar, only slower (listen to the ‘call’, second from the top):  http://www.xeno-canto.org/explore?query=grey+nightjar What sounds like this in North America? Any input is most welcome. 
  Bird(s) of the day - Matt: Common Yellowthroat, Dan: Indigo Bunting, Helly: Hairy Woodpecker.

Turkey Vulture – 1
Chimney Swift - 5
Ruby-throated Hummingbird – 2 briefly but well seen
Hairy Woodpecker - 2
Eastern Wood-Pewee – 2 heard
Red-eyed Vireo - 1
American Crow - 4
Black-capped Chickadee – 10+
White-breasted Nuthatch - 2
American Robin – 4+
Yellow Warbler – 2 heard, perhaps
Common Yellowthroat – 1 gorgeous and confiding male checked us out closely
Indigo Bunting – 1 cracking male calling from a treetop
Northern Cardinal - 2
Chipping Sparrow – 12+
Song Sparrow - 7
Red-winged Blackbird – 6+
Common Grackle - 3
American Goldfinch – 10+

The butterfly was a White Admiral, and the strange nightjar-like call belonged in fact to an Eastern Chipmunk. Thanks BPQers for the input.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Montreal Merlin, June 10, 2014

Merlin Falco columbarius
Merlin Falco columbarius
  This Snowy Owl has migrated back to Montreal for a bit, and it's great to be home! I went for a wander around Westmount the other day, and spotted a cracking Merlin near the Oratory. Is it common to see Merlins in Montreal? No clue, ha ha, I've been in Korea for way too long.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Seogwipo, Jeju, June 1, 2014

Fairy Pitta Pitta nympha
Fairy Pitta Pitta nympha
Black Paradise Flycatcher (Japanese Paradise Flycatcher) Terpsiphone atrocaudata
Black Paradise Flycatcher (Japanese Paradise Flycatcher) Terpsiphone atrocaudata
Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus
Striated Heron Butorides striata
juvenile Varied Tit Sittiparus varius
juvenile Varied Tit Sittiparus varius

  At a relatively undisturbed (yet) spot near town, three individual Fairy Pittas (or maybe two pairs) called from the treetops, mostly unseen. One of them had a strange three-note call, instead of the more familiar two-note call. Listen here:

  Two Northern Boobook called from nearby, but remained frustratingly out of sight. It was hard to hear other birds at times over the manic refrain of the Common and Lesser Cuckoos. A pair each of secretive Yellow-rumped Flycatcher and Yellow-throated Bunting fed busily and appeared to be bringing food back to nests. Great, Long-tailed, and Varied Tits (including some interesting grey-bellied juveniles) were also seen, as well as a White-backed Woodpecker. At least three pairs of Japanese Paradise Flycatchers were active and vocal along the trail, giving some good views. Elsewhere around Seogwipo, I’ve found a further four pairs on different stream beds.
  Back in town, a Striated Heron (perhaps the same individual that has been overwintering in this park) paced the bank of a stream in a park. Last week in the same park I saw a pair of Asian Brown Flycatchers that were acting like there was maybe a nest nearby.
  Last night I heard a Fairy Pitta calling from the stream behind my apartment at about 2 a.m. It was heading north towards Halla Mountain. I heard a similar late-night phenomenon on June 6th of last year – is this stream a nocturnal highway for fresh-in Fairy Pittas?