Monday, April 10, 2017

Big day southwest, April 9, 2017

Scoping for Golden Eagles at Montée Smellie
Lac Saint-François
Lac Saint-François
Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
Sandhill Crane Grus canadensis
Several dark morphs in a skein of Snow Geese Chen caerulescens
Northern Shrike Lanius excubitor
Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
Golden-crowned Kinglet Regulus satrapa
Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor
Canada Goose Branta Canadensis (love is in the air...)
Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus
Spot the Osprey Pandion haliaetus
American Mink Neovison vison
Tallying up over officially the best poutine ever
Bird food
  Running on three hours of sleep (zero hours for Dan), an epic day of birding in Quebec's southwest was a perfect, if exhausting, way to kick off spring.  We linked up with the McGill Students' Birding Club at Hungry Bay at 7:15, and froze our fingers off for an hour, picking through waterfowl.  In a typically Canadian day, the weather clunked gears through three seasons during the course of several hours, and we ended the day all sunburns and rolled-up sleeves.  The layers were coming off like the characters on a Russian doll.
  At Montée Smellie, we didn't find any Golden Eagles, the day's target species, but did encounter my bird of the day, a singing Eastern Meadowlark.
  On the road, I spotted a Northern Shrike in a roadside field, and when we pulled over, we noticed an Osprey dwarfed by a massive telecommunication tower.
  At Lac Saint-François we saw some great habitat, but the Tree Swallow nests 
right along the trail seemed poorly placed.  We'll be back in the summer to try our luck with local specials like Yellow Rail and Sedge Wren.  Three Sandhill Cranes (Dan's fave) paced a field, and it was fun to see the 'Greater', to compare it with the 'Lesser' I found in Suncheon (http://snowyowllost.blogspot.ca/2015/12/suncheon-november-22-december-13.html).  We ended up with a respectable 54 species on the day.


Hungry Bay, (Montée Smellie), {Lac Saint-François}, [on the road]
Double-crested Cormorant -5 

Great Blue Heron -3 {1}
Great Egret -{1}
Snow Goose -130+ (2,300+)
Canada Goose -70+ (2000+) {200+} [5240]
Wood Duck -(2)
Mallard -{4}
American Black Duck -6
Northern Pintail -[12]
Green-winged Teal -[8]
Redhead -1
Lesser Scaup -75+
Common Goldeneye -4
Bufflehead -1
Hooded Merganser -2 {2}
Red-breasted Merganser -2
Common Merganser -8
Turkey Vulture -(4) [4]
Osprey -[1]
Northern Harrier -(2) {1}
Red-tailed Hawk - (2)
American Kestrel -(1)
Sandhill Crane -{3}
Killdeer -(20+)
Wilson’s Snipe -{1}
Ring-billed Gull -6 [62]
Herring Gull -1
Rock Dove -[5]
Mourning Dove -1 (4) {1} [2]
Downy Woodpecker -{1}
Northern Flicker-1 (1) {3}
Eastern Phoebe -1 (1) {2} [1]
Northern Shrike -[1]
Blue Jay -2 (1)
American Crow -3 (3) [23]
Common Raven -(2)
Tree Swallow -{15+} [1]
Black-capped Chickadee -3 (3)
Tufted Titmouse -{1}
Golden-crowned Kinglet -{1}
American Robin -9 (3) [3]
European Starling -5 (4) [55]
Northern Cardinal -1 {2}
American Tree Sparrow -{5}
Song Sparrow -6 (1) {4} [7]
White-throated Sparrow -(1 heard)
Dark-eyed Junco -5
Eastern Meadowlark -(1)
Red-winged Blackbird -24 (10+) {12+} [24]
Common Grackle -9 (6) {10+} [66]
Brown-headed Cowbird -2
House Sparrow -(2) [2]
American Goldfinch -{2}
House Finch -1
+ an American Mink at Hungry Bay, an American Red Squirrel and two Mourning Cloaks at 
Lac Saint-François

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