Saturday, January 24, 2015

Mirabel, Quebec, January 24, 2015



In the Turkey Woods
Crow hunter (or is he a Raven hunter?) looking for a place to hunt
Snowy Owl Bubo scandiacus
Snowy Owl Bubo scandiacus
Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis
Snow Buntings Plectrophenax nivalis
Snow Buntings Plectrophenax nivalis
Merlin Falco columbarius
Wild Turkey Meleagris gallopavo (Honestly!)
  Dan had Grey Partridge fever, so (relatively) early this morn we zipped up to gloomy Mirabel to scan some large fields in hope of sighting bird-shaped blobs.  In spite of numerous recent records in this area, we came up blank on the partridge front, but did manage to get some satisfying winter sightings in.  After missing out on Snowy Owls for most of our adult lives (until finally seeing one last week), the species was almost in danger of becoming a 'garbage bird' today.  We saw three in and around these fields, including some long luxuriant looks at one from close range.  
  The Snow Buntings were out in force, with well over 50 seen near the roads.  Long-winged and handsomely pied, they have a graceful clumsiness that always cheers me up.  After a romp through the deep snow in some nearby woods, I saw my first actual Wild Turkeys.  They looked like a pack of little dinosaurs, as they skulked between the trees.  
Near the entrance of Parc du Domain Verte, we spotted a Merlin that was whipping a nearby group of Chickadees into an agitated frenzy.  Since the entry fee for two adults into the park was a scandalous 30$, we said 'Eff this' and went for poutine.

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