As seems to happen here at this time of year there was an influx of ‘southerly’ species into Eastern Canada. Unfortunately most rarities from these events that appear in Quebec end up in Gaspe or Tadoussac which are, realistically, just too far to enjoy on a weekend trip. Cave Swallows are a local possibility though because they do odd things migration wise and so when 100+ were seen in Southern Ontario on Friday I thought I ought to go and try to find one. Another option this weekend was to drive a couple of hours for a Cattle Egret near Trois Riviere which, to be honest, is a pain in the deriere to get to because we are west of Montreal and that egret was east.
Reviewing the possibilities I opted for realism and decided to find my own Cattle Egret in Quebec (a QC tick). If a Cave Swallow flew over in the process then good but, with 14 Cattle Egrets being seen near Ottawa in the week the egret seeking had merit. I opted for checking the Cow pocked fields on the north shore of the Ottawa River but had it in mind to go to Parc Plaisance which was probably the best bet. I try to get to Parc Plaisance a couple of times a year but had sadly neglected the place this year.
We started well, with a first-winter Lesser Black-backed Gullon the rocks at Pointe Fortune and which later obligingly flew over the border into Quebec. A short ferry ride and a hour and a half later and we arrived at Parc Plaisance just as the heavy rain flexed its muscles. Lots of wildfowl were in evidence including a Long-tailed Duck and 200+ Hooded Mergansers. Along the road called Grande Presq’uile we stopped to look at four Cows and there was our egret! Unfortunately it was some way away, as you will see below, the egret is the white thing without the fresian pattern.
After getting suitably wet we headed back home, enjoying the first (distant) Northern Gray Shrike of the autumn. Near Hawkesbury we chanced upon four Red-necked Grebes. Apart from a few flocks of Horned Larks that was it although, back home, the first Fox Sparrows of autumn had arrived. No doubt I’ll bore you with some photos of them some time soon. No Cave Swallow yet…
So, below the record shots and all relevant excuses apply. Unles you can live with the disappointment, don’t bother clicking for a larger image.
Yes its a lousy shot of a Pied-billed Grebe but this is the first photo in an exciting sequence of four depicting how this species makes itself disappear. They don’t dive as such but seem to insinuate themselves under the water.
Northern Gray Shrike is a species I’d like to pin down, not physically you understand that would be cruel, no in a photgraphic sense.