Monday, May 29, 2017

Biggar day

Eastern Towhee Pipilo erythrophthalmus
Gray Catbird Dumetella carolinensis
Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus
Swamp Sparrow Melospiza georgiana
Alder Flycatcher Empidonax alnorum
Golden-winged Warbler Vermivora chrysoptera
Yellow Warbler Setophaga petechia
male Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas 
female Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas 
female Bobolink Dolichonyx oryzivorous
male Bobolink Dolichonyx oryzivorous
Sedge Wren Cistothorus platensis
Sedge Wren Cistothorus platensis
American Bittern Botaurus lentiginosus 
Sandhill Crane Grus canadensis (adult with colt)
Snapping Turtle Chelydra serpentine
Montée Biggar
Sedge Wren habitat at Montée Gordon
Lac Saint-François
  An epic day down southwest, with a respectable 80 species logged in the sun. It was great as always to bird in the company of members of the McGill Students’ Birding Club. Our main stop was Montée Biggar in Godmanchester - essentially a long country road fringed with a lovely array of scrubby, agricultural, wet, and wooded habitat. It’s a super birdy patch, as evidenced by the dozens of birders/photogs patrolling early on a Sunday morning, in spite of the bugs.
  We then stopped at Montée Gordon for a gratifying look at the local whack-a-mole Sedge Wrens, before heading to Lac Saint-François. Massive Snapping Turtles, a confiding American Bittern, and Sandhill Cranes with fuzzy brown colts were all pleasant surprises there, although I (and likely most others) got a tad overheated by the end of it. The summer mug is here. As is tradition, Dan and I ended the trip with a stop at the greasiest little poutine shack ever. On the ride back, I could have sworn I saw an Opossum at the side of the road, which is apparently possible, range-wise.

Montée Biggar, Godmanchester, (Lac Saint-François), May 28, 2017
Pied-billed Grebe-(1)
Double-crested Cormorant-(2)
American Bittern-(1)
Great Blue Heron-(2)
Great Egret-(3)
Green Heron-(1)
Canada Goose-(9)
Turkey Vulture-4 (4)
Cooper’s Hawk-1
Northern Harrier-1 (1)
Red-tailed Hawk-1
Red-shouldered Hawk-(1)
American Kestrel-1
Ruffed Grouse-1 heard drumming, (1 heard drumming)
Sandhill Crane-(5 adults with 2 colts visible)
Greater Yellowlegs-(1)
Spotted Sandpiper-(2)
Least Sandpiper-(1)
Wilson’s Snipe-1 (1)
Ring-billed Gull-(3)
Mourning Dove-1 (1)
Black-billed Cuckoo-1 heard (1 heard)
Chimney Swift-several en route
Ruby-throated Hummingbird-1
Downy Woodpecker-(1)
Northern Flicker-2
Pileated Woodpecker-1 heard
Eastern Wood-Pewee-2 (2)
Alder Flycatcher-4 (2)
Willow Flycatcher-(2)
Least Flycatcher-1 (1)
Great Crested Flycatcher-1 (2)
Eastern Kingbird-1 (4)
Warbling Vireo-1 (3)
Red-eyed Vireo-2
Blue Jay-2 (2)
American Crow-2 (1)
Common Raven-1 (1)
Barn Swallow-4 (4)
Bank Swallow-2 in Huntingdon
Tree Swallow-1 (6)
Purple Martin-(2)
Black-capped Chickadee-2 (3)
Sedge Wren-(3 at Montée Gordon, near Lac Saint-François)
Veery-2 heard (2 heard)
American Robin-4 (2)
Gray Catbird-3 (2)
Brown Thrasher-1 heard
Cedar Waxwing-(4+ heard)
European Starling-3
Tennessee Warbler-2
Nashville Warbler-2 heard
Golden-winged Warbler-1
[Brewster’s Warbler/Blue-winged x Golden-winged hybrid-1]
Yellow Warbler-6 (10+)
Chestnut-sided Warbler-4 (1)
Black-throated Green Warbler-1 heard
Blackpoll Warbler-(2+)
American Redstart-2 (1)

Common Yellowthroat-2 (6+)
Ovenbird-1 heard
Scarlet Tanager-1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak-2 (1)
Indigo Bunting-2 (2)
Northern Cardinal-1
Eastern Towhee-1
Chipping Sparrow-2
Clay-colored Sparrow-1 heard
Field Sparrow-1 heard
Savannah Sparrow-1
Song Sparrow-4 (3)
Swamp Sparrow-2 (6)
Baltimore Oriole-2 (1)
Red-winged Blackbird-5 (10+)
Common Grackle-5 (7)
Brown-headed Cowbird-2
American Goldfinch-6+ (6+)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Blackpoll sun

Wilson’s Warbler Cardellina pusilla
Blackpoll Warbler Setophaga striata
female Indigo Bunting Passerina cyanea
female Indigo Bunting Passerina cyanea
Eastern Kingbird Tyrannus tyrannus
Ruby-throated Hummingbird Archilochus colubris
Chimney Swift Chaetura pelagic
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher Empidonax flaviventris
Current mood
  Currently soaking m’feets in a bucket of hot water and salts. Salted feets! Wonder if I should go birding tomorrow? More year firsts today, and even a couple of personal province firsts (Yellow-bellied Flycatcher + “Catharus conundrum”). A female Indigo Bunting called in the north end of the NDN Cemetery for several minutes, before two males swooped in and gave chase in a frenetic low-level dogfight through the underbrush. The Blackpolls are out and about, and the trees are still jam-packed with warblers – is this late in the month for this sort of action? I’ve got a red neck and a hat tan, courtesy of the cloudsun. The horror...the horror.

Westmount Summit + (both cemeteries), May 24, 2017
Turkey Vulture-(4)
Cooper’s Hawk-1 near the summit
Ring-billed Gull-(2)
Chimney Swift-3+, (6)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird-(1 at Rose Hill)
Downy Woodpecker-(1)
Hairy Woodpecker-1 (1)
Pileated Woodpecker-1 heard
Eastern Wood-Pewee-(2)
Least Flycatcher-(1 in NDN, 1 by the cannons)
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher-(2 in NDN, 1 at Rose Hill)
Eastern Phoebe-2 (1 in NDN)
Great Crested Flycatcher-1 heard, (3)
Eastern Kingbird-(3 together)
Warbling Vireo-1 heard, (1)
Red-eyed Vireo-4, (6)
Blue Jay-10 (5)
American Crow-6 (10)
Common Raven-(2 heard)
Black-capped Chickadee-4 (8)
White-breasted Nuthatch-(2)
Red-breasted Nuthatch-2 (2)
House Wren-(4)
Eastern Bluebird-(one pair in the far western corner of NDN, two pairs in M-R)
Swainson’s Thrush-(1)
"Catharus conundrum"...more on this soon...
American Robin-2 (3)
Gray Catbird-1 (2)
European Starling-(1)
Tennessee Warbler-5, (20+)
Northern Parula-(1 near the cannons)
Yellow Warbler-(2 heard)
Chestnut-sided Warbler-1
Magnolia Warbler-2 (5+)
Blackburnian Warbler-(1 male near the cannons)
Black-throated Blue Warbler-1 heard, (2 heard)
Black-throated Green Warbler-1 (3)
Yellow-rumped Warbler-1 (4)
Blackpoll Warbler-(8+)
Bay-breasted Warbler-1 (3)
American Redstart-2 (6)
Wilson’s Warbler-(1 still near the north entrance, singing today)
Indigo Bunting-1 singing, (6)
Northern Cardinal-2 near the summit, (3)
Chipping Sparrow-2 (10+)
Clay-colored Sparrow-(1 singing in L1)
Song Sparrow-1 (4)
American Goldfinch-2+ (10+)
House Finch-2

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

It's a beautiful Clay

Clay-colored Sparrow Spizella pallida
Clay-colored Sparrow Spizella pallida
Clay-colored Sparrow Spizella pallida
Red-eyed Vireo Vireo olivaceus
Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea
Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea
female Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus
female Blackburnian Warbler Setophaga fusca
  A solid spring day out, with 51 species logged, 14 of which were warblers. In the L1 section of Mount-Royal Cemetery, I was startled when a Clay-colored Sparrow popped up from underfoot and started rasping its insect-like song from a few feet away. I got some blown-out record shots in the noon-time glare - the bird was first spotted a few days ago by George Levtchouk (I think). It reminded me of the Emberiza buntings of Korea.
  It was good to see a Wilson's Warbler, feels like it's been a while. Notably, no Ruby-crowned Kinglets, White-throated or White-crowned Sparrows today. It's getting leafy out there. Back at it tomorrow I guess.

Westmount Summit + (both cemeteries), May 23, 2017
Turkey Vulture-(1)
Red-tailed Hawk-(1 mobbed by crows)
Merlin-1 flyover
Ring-billed Gull-(1)
Chimney Swift-2+, (4+)
Downy Woodpecker-1
Hairy Woodpecker-1
Eastern Phoebe-1 (1)
Eastern Wood-Pewee-(2 in NDN)
Least Flycatcher-1 @ ‘Westmount Secret Spot’, (1 by the cannons)
Great Crested Flycatcher-1 heard, (2 heard)
Eastern Kingbird-(1 in M1)
Warbling Vireo-1 heard, 2 near the Oratory, (3)
Red-eyed Vireo-5, (6)
Blue-headed Vireo-2 (2)
Blue Jay-1 heard, (1 heard)
American Crow-3 (15)
Black-capped Chickadee-4 (7)
Brown Creeper-1 heard
White-breasted Nuthatch-(1)
Red-breasted Nuthatch-3 (3)
House Wren-(3)
Eastern Bluebird-(one pair in the far western corner of NDN, two pairs in M-R)
Swainson’s Thrush-1 (3)
American Robin-3 (5)
Gray Catbird-(2)
Cedar Waxwing-(4)
European Starling-(1)
Tennessee Warbler-4, (15+, dispersed throughout the flowering trees)
Northern Parula-(1 near the north entrance)
Yellow Warbler-(2 in NDN, 4 in M-R)
Chestnut-sided Warbler-(2)
Magnolia Warbler-2 @ ‘WSS’
Cape May Warbler-1 female @ ‘WSS’
Blackburnian Warbler-1 male, (1 female)
Black-throated Blue Warbler-1 heard @ ‘WSS’, (1 heard)
Black-throated Green Warbler-1
Yellow-rumped Warbler-(1)
Bay-breasted Warbler-(1 male in partial breeding plumage)
American Redstart-2 @ ‘WSS’, (6+ well distributed)
Ovenbird-1 heard
Wilson’s Warbler-(1 near the north entrance)
Scarlet Tanager-(1 male by the cannons)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak-(1 female near Mount Murray)
Indigo Bunting-2 singing, (2 in NDN, 4 in M-R)
Northern Cardinal-1 near the summit, (2)
Chipping Sparrow-4 (15+)
Clay-colored Sparrow-(1 singing in L1)
Song Sparrow-1 (4)
Baltimore Oriole-(1 heard)
American Goldfinch-4+ (12+)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Tanager wasteland

fledgling Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis
Warbling Vireo Vireo gilvus
Yellow Warbler Setophaga petechia
American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla
Dekay's Brown Snake Storeria dekayi
  Went west with Dan to have a snoop for a Summer Tanager found by Jesse White a few days ago in a suburban wasteland - a great record. No luck on the twitch, but we did come across some season firsts, and a lovely little Dekay's Brown Snake, which I removed from the perilous bike path. Wot a tiny little ripper, I yelped in an Australian accent. 

Parc Centenaire William Cosgrove, May 20, 2017
Double-crested Cormorant-4
Great Blue Heron-1
Canada Goose-15
Wood Duck-1
Turkey Vulture-1
Ring-billed Gull-4
Downy Woodpecker-2
Great Crested Flycatcher-1 heard
Warbling Vireo-5
Blue Jay-1
American Crow-2
Black-capped Chickadee-4
Red-breasted Nuthatch-2
American Robin-8+
Gray Catbird-5
European Starling-4
Tennessee Warbler-6
Yellow Warbler-8
Chestnut-sided Warbler-1 heard
Magnolia Warbler-1
Yellow-rumped Warbler-1
American Redstart-5
Ovenbird-1 heard
Northern Cardinal-6
Song Sparrow-1
Baltimore Oriole-4, attending and defending nests
Red-winged Blackbird-10
Common Grackle-4
American Goldfinch-6+
House Finch-4
+ Dekay's Brown Snake-1

Friday, May 19, 2017

Lucky 13

Canada Warbler Cardellina Canadensis
Bay-breasted Warbler Setophaga castanea
Tennessee Warbler Leiothlypis peregrina
Tennessee Warbler Leiothlypis peregrina
Magnolia Warbler Setophaga magnolia
Red-eyed Vireo Vireo olivaceus
Great Crested Flycatcher Myiarchus crinitus
Indigo Bunting Passerina cyanea
Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea 
Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
  After a quiet start at the Westmount Summit, the day picked up in a hurry, with 50 species recorded after a feet-thrashing 7-hour bird bimble. The feeling was that of a clear-out of last week’s species (e.g. no Juncos, only one Yellow-rumped Warbler), with new birds around, including several ‘first of year’ (FOY) species. 
  An invasion of Red-eyed Vireos and Tennessee Warblers was the theme of the day, with their songs ringing overhead for most of the day. I ended the day with a lucky thirteen warbler species, including a lovely male Canada Warbler in the NDN Cemetery, and several Bay-breasted – one of my faves.
  Near the Oratory, I saved a guy who was in the panicked throes of a diabetic crash by giving him my tangerine and a handful of Korean cough drops – intense. In the afternoon, I pushed my luck and checked out Mount Royal, but it was largely a letdown – either it was too late in the day or I don’t know where the ‘spot’ is. I’ll stick to what I know.
  Always good to hear the twitter of Chimney Swifts overhead again - were they late this year? I feel like I had my first in early May last year.

Westmount Summit, (both cemeteries), and [Mount Royal], May 19, 2017
Turkey Vulture-(2)
Red-tailed Hawk-1 mobbed by crows
Ring-billed Gull-2 (2)
Chimney Swift-2 FOY, (2)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird-(1 FOY by the cannons, startled a Robin with a flyby, I giggled)
Downy Woodpecker-2 (4)
Hairy Woodpecker- 4 (3)
Pileated Woodpecker-1 (1)
Eastern Phoebe-1 (1)
Great Crested Flycatcher-2 (3) [1]
Philadelphia Vireo-1 FOY
Red-eyed Vireo-6+ FOY, (9+)
Blue-headed Vireo-2 (2)
Blue Jay-1 heard, (3 heard)
American Crow-12+ (7)
Common Raven-1 (1)
Black-capped Chickadee-2 with chicks heard begging, (8+)
White-breasted Nuthatch-1 (2)
Red-breasted Nuthatch-2 (4)
House Wren-(1 singing and attending several decoy nests)
Winter Wren-(1 singing)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet-2 (7+)
Swainson’s Thrush-1 FOY below the lookout, [2]
Hermit Thrush-[1]
American Robin-2 (5)
Gray Catbird-(2 that looked to be around a nest)
Cedar Waxwing-(1)
European Starling-2 (1)
Tennessee Warbler-4 FOY, (45+, singing from every flowering tree)
Nashville Warbler-(1)
Orange-crowned Warbler-(1- a challenge separating it from the Tennessee Warblers in the same tree)
Northern Parula-1 (2)
Magnolia Warbler-(1)
Blackburnian Warbler-(1)
Black-throated Blue Warbler-(2 males and finally a female)
Black-throated Green Warbler-(only 1 heard)
Yellow-rumped Warbler-(only 1)
Palm Warbler-(1)
Bay-breasted Warbler-1 FOY, (2)
Ovenbird-1 heard
Canada Warbler-(1 FOY)
Scarlet Tanager-(1 female FOY)
Indigo Bunting-1 below the lookout FOY, (2 by the cannons)
Northern Cardinal-1 (2)
Chipping Sparrow-4 (12+)
Song Sparrow-2 (6)
White-crowned Sparrow-(1)
White-throated Sparrow-5 (12+)
American Goldfinch-3+ (10+)