Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Prévost Northern Shrikes

Feeder mania 
Spot the Shrike? It's one pixel big :(
Cold white north
  I'm back in the Montreal area for about a month, but I haven't been up to much birding yet. On December 21-22 I was up in Prévost at a friend's, and I spent several enjoyable hours staring out of his back window at several well-stocked and well-attended feeders. Clouds of Chickadees were soon joined by about a dozen Common Redpoll (the first my friend has seen this season), a pair of Hairy Woodpeckers working the suet, two skulking Tree Sparrows, and a Song Sparrow. The highlight was definitely when a dusky Northern Shrike suddenly dropped in for about ten seconds, causing a panic clearout of the feeder birds. The Chickadees returned after ten minutes, the Redpolls wisely never did.
  The following day, while checking out a friend's farm, I spotted another Northen Shrike, perched on a treetop throne, overlooking its kingdom of thorny scrub. I have the impression that Northern Shrikes are fairly uncommon/rare, but I'm not sure. Clueless in my home patch. Yeah, I picked a great weekend to leave the camera at home.
  I wish you all a birdy 2015.

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