Vis-mig means visible migration and there are a few of us out there that actually take great pleasure standing in one spot identifying the high flying dots pushing north when the weather inspires. Not everything is a dot though and with experience you can figure out 85% of what flies past, the rest tends to be a bit too far unless it’s calling or a familiar shape.
A second day of ten degrees and no freezing weather overnight meant that it was the cue for the Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles to surge north, they had been stacking south of a chilly Quebec in readiness for the spring surge. I started at St-Lazare sand pits, naturally, and it was obvious that today was the day. Besides the tons of blackbirds and grackles there were American Robins, a couple of Cooper’s Hawks, my first Northern Harrier of the year and a steady but strangely silent stream of Snow Buntings. A nice surprise was a female Common Goldeneye passing over, the pits year list is up and running. To top things off my first Northern Grey Shrike of the year there sat atop one of the trees hoping for a passing meal, oh, and the Canada Geese are back.
As the morning developed the weather front started to close in and the passage window eased too. I took a look around the Chemin de la Fleuve at Les Cedres, always a good spot for the odd thing. The highway 30 bridge is topped off and the links are being constructed, we could be zipping off to St-Timothee without the drag through Valleyfield sooner than later. One of the fields out there had a mass of blackbirds and grackles, also in there were a few Brown-headed Cowbirds and the first two Killdeers of the year, welcome back.
While I was at the pits I watched from the road, my usual spot is snowed in for now. My presence seemed to entertain people on Spring Break, using the Base de Plein Air to occupy their kids. It wasn’t just one car slowing down but just about every single one! I will chat with people and tell them what I’m doing if they ask but they always just slow down and gawp, perhaps I should have a T-shirt printed with ‘I’m Birding and don’t bite’ made. This very much confirms my suspicions regarding Darwin and an error he made when discussing evolution in relation to SOME Canadians. I will explain at length in the next post.
Incidentally, I posted the story of 1991, just either hover over the tab or select the year from the side bar.