Thursday, June 21, 2018

Parc des Rapides, June 20, 2018


Common Tern Sterna hirundo
American Black Duck Anas rubripes
American Wigeon Anas americana
American Wigeon Anas americana
Canada Goose Branta Canadensis "X6F2"
Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
Belted Kingfisher Megaceryle alcyon in a hover
juvenile European Starling Sturnus vulgaris

  In a dream haze of poplar fluff, a lazy afternoon bimble by the St Lawrence River turned up a decent array of 'water-themed' birds.

Parc des Rapides, June 20, 2018
Double-crested Cormorant-12+
Great Blue Heron-9+
Great Egret-5+
Black-crowned Night Heron-1
Canada Goose-50+ (including one with an orange neck collar with white ‘X6F2’)
Mallard-30+
American Black Duck-1
Gadwall-4
American Wigeon-12
Red-breasted Merganser-1
Turkey Vulture-3
Peregrine Falcon-1
Spotted Sandpiper-1
Ring-billed Gull-100+
Greater Black-backed Gull-3
Common Tern-10
Rock Dove-4
Chimney Swift-3
Belted Kingfisher-1
Downy Woodpecker-1
Eastern Kingbird-1
Warbling Vireo-2
Tree Swallow-6+
American Robin-3
Cedar Waxwing-6+
European Starling-20
Yellow Warbler-10+
Song Sparrow-12+
Red-winged Blackbird-50+

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail Papilio canadensis
  One time, I saw a butterfly. It had doohickies and thingamabobs on it.
  I meant to write a post whining about hard it is to differentiate between Bicknell's and Grey-cheeked Thrushes, but I lost the pictures of a supposed Bicknell's I got last year, so that ain't happening. I lost the pictures. On my computer. In my computer. Inside of it.
  When I was reading up on the Yellow-billed Cuckoo the other day, I learned that, according to Peterson, their song is, and I quote: "...a rapid throaty ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-kow-kow-kowlp-kowlp-kowlp-kowlp." So remember that.
  In other news, should I go live in Myanmar? I betcha there are some nutty birds out there.

Friday, June 8, 2018

A Sora state of affairs

Sora Porzana carolina
Sora Porzana carolina
Sora Porzana carolina
Least Bittern Ixobrychus exilis
Least Bittern Ixobrychus exilis
Least Bittern Ixobrychus exilis
American Bittern Botaurus lentiginosus
American Bittern Botaurus lentiginosus
Great Egret Ardea alba
Green Heron Butorides virescens
Belted Kingfisher Megaceryle alcyon
Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius
Eastern Coyote Canis latrans var.
Snapping Turtle Chelydra serpentina
Eight-spotted Forester Alypia octomaculata (moth)
Swamp Sparrow in song

Marais de St-Timothée
Gorgeous, extensive reedbeds  


  One of my favourite little off-island spots, Marais de St-Timothée, did not disappoint on a sunny and breezy morning. It’s always sunny and breezy there, it seems.
  The session got off to an auspicious start with my first Eastern Coyote sighting – what an awesome creature, radiating an intense and wary intelligence. Along the bike path, Least Bitterns were out in force, first spotted far off, and then zipping across the path at eye level several times.
  The long-awaited Sora sighting came as a result of a lengthy stake-out (or was it a crake-out?) after hearing the bird’s characteristic downward-cascading whinny (very Ruddy Kingfisher-like). I’m convinced that Soras are actually some form of enchanted trickster imp of the reed-beds, as they’re skilled at teleporting and vanishing and the like.
  Two American Bitterns thrilled with dueling (nuptial dance?) jousts overhead, tumbling down towards the extensive reed-beds together. I got a great video of the behaviour, then promptly deleted it by hitting the wrong button. Fuckin’ buttons.

Marais de St-Timothée, (St-Louis-de-Gonzague) June 7, 2018
Pied-billed Grebe-1 heard
Double-crested Cormorant-2 (3)
American Bittern-3
Least Bittern-3 or 4
Great Blue Heron-3
Great Egret-1
Green Heron-1
Snow Goose-(4)
Canada Goose-6 (12+)
Mallard-2 (4+)
Gadwall-(1)
Ring-necked Duck-3
Turkey Vulture-3
Bald Eagle-1 shadowing a large ship on the canal
Peregrine Falcon-(1 at Halte des Pêcheurs)
Sora-2, including one seen with nesting materials
Common Gallinule/Moorhen-1
Spotted Sandpiper-2 (2)
Least Sandpiper-1
Ring-billed Gull-4 (5+)
Common Tern-1 (5+)
Rock Dove-(8)

Belted Kingfisher-1
Downy Woodpecker-(1)
Northern Flicker-3 from the road nearby
Willow Flycatcher-1
Least Flycatcher-1 (1)
Eastern Phoebe-1 from the road nearby
Great Crested Flycatcher-1
Eastern Kingbird-4 (2)
Warbling Vireo-2 (2)
Blue Jay-1
American Crow-4 (2)
Cliff Swallow-(10+)
Tree Swallow-12+ (12+)
Black-capped Chickadee-1
Marsh Wren-4+
Veery-(1 heard)
American Robin-6+ (3+)
Gray Catbird-1
Cedar Waxwing-6+ (12+)
European Starling-5+ (3)
Yellow Warbler-6+ (6+)
American Redstart-3 (3)
Common Yellowthroat-4 (1)
Song Sparrow-6+ (4+)
Swamp Sparrow-2
Baltimore Oriole-1 from the road nearby
Red-winged Blackbird-15+ (6+)
Common Grackle-15+ (8)
Brown-headed Cowbird-(1)
House Sparrow-2 from the road nearby
American Goldfinch-6 (2)

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Rock Me Ammodramus

Lovely bit of scrubby field habitat
Dan wanders towards America
Eastern Meadowlark Sturnella magna
Grasshopper Sparrow Ammodramus savannarum
...honestly...try squinting if you don't see it...or no, unfocus and look from afar
...or try mashing your thumbs into your eyes real quick...

Dan's badass sketch of a Grasshopper Sparrow...superlative cross-hatching!
  When he’s not fainting away into the bushes, Dan is an illustrator (http://dansvatek.com/). Last week he did a wicked black-and-white illustration of a Grasshopper Sparrow for a sustainable ranch, so when I told him about a recent sighting of said species down near the border, he was all in.
  The spot ended up being just down the road, literally, from the U.S. border, on a quiet farm road. When a farmer rolled up on us real slow like in his pick-up, I was worried we’d be hearing a shotgun shell being wracked into the chamber and a "Why are you standing in front of my house?" Instead, we were greeted with a jovial “Have you guys heard that bird yet? There’s fuckloads of ‘em in there!” Hopefully that means the locals have only been exposed to well-mannered birders so far.
  After being initially psyched out by a Savannah Sparrow (Psych!), we ended up getting onto our target with frustratingly distant, dim, and rainy views, as the Grasshopper Sparrow dueled with a cantankerous Eastern Meadowlark. It is a Grasshopper Sparrow. I swear. Or is it a bleached out hacky sack? No, it’s the Grasshopper Sparrow. Wait, is it a caterpillar tent? Or an old forgotten marshmallow? No. No, that’s the Grasshopper Sparrow, 100%.

  Dang, Ammodramus sparrows (Ammodrami?) are badass, time to find some more.
  Bring on the horrendous record shots!

Hemmingford, June 5, 2018
Great Blue Heron-(2 from the road)
Green Heron-(1 behind Burger Bob in town...solid poutine there)
Canada Goose-3
Turkey Vulture-3
American Kestrel-1

Killdeer-1
Upland Sandpiper*-2 shorebirds that flushed from the field were later determined to have been this species, after putting together all the clues (size, shape, colour, tail pattern, habitat, time of year, etc...)
Rock Dove-5
Mourning Dove-1
Chimney Swift-5
Ruby-throated Hummingbird-(1 from the road)
Northern Flicker-1 or 2
Alder Flycatcher-1
Least Flycatcher-1
Eastern Kingbird-1
Red-eyed Vireo-1 or more
Blue Jay-1
American Crow-2
Barn Swallow-3
Eastern Bluebird-2
American Robin-4
Gray Catbird-2
Brown Thrasher-1
European Starling-5
Yellow Warbler-2 or more, (+several from the road)
Common Yellowthroat-1
Indigo Bunting-2
Northern Cardinal-1
Chipping Sparrow-2+
Grasshopper Sparrow-1
Savannah Sparrow-1
Song Sparrow-2
White-throated Sparrow-(1 heard from the road)
Eastern Meadowlark-1
Bobolink-1
Red-winged Blackbird-3
Common Grackle-6+
Brown-headed Cowbird-2
House Sparrow-1
American Goldfinch-10+