Pits walk

Wednesday August 8th I issued an open invite through the local birding email group to join me on a walk around St-Lazare sand pits. Michael and Sylvie turned up and we had a steady walk around the site enjoying good views of the shorebirds. The good light and close range allowed us to take prolonged views of the many Least Sandpipers, comparing them with the superficially similar Semipalmated Sandpipers. An indicator that shorebird migration is picking up was the presence of seven Pectoral Sandpipers, both adults and immatures. Caspian Terns were again present, the regular adult and the immature, and they were not at all nervous of us. Overhead the first Purple Martins of the autumn were hawking high flying insects on what turned out to be a hot day.

One of our targets was Common Buckeye, at least four of these locally rare butterflies were around but their presence was well masked by a four figure count of Painted Ladies, they were everywhere. Dragonflies were not ignored and we located a few Eastern Amberwings and I tracked down Familair Bluet, found by Chris Cloutier and Greg Rand the day previously on the site and new for the pits odonata list. We managed views of all of the common stuff but the species diversity was low compared to the previous week and no Halloween Pennants were anywhere to be seen.

I promised Michael and Sylvie I’d list what we saw (in no particular order) so…

Birds: Caspian Tern; Pectoral Sandpiper; Least Sandpiper; Semipalmated Sandpiper; Semipalmated Plover; Killdeer; Greater Yellowlegs; Lesser Yellowlegs; Spotted Sandpiper; Solitary Sandpiper; Green Heron; Great Egret; Great Blue Heron; Ring-billed Gull; Song Sparrow; Chipping Sparrow; Black-capped Chickadee; American Goldfinch; American Robin; American Crow; Barn Swallow; Northern Rough-winged Swallow; Cliff Swallow; Chimney Swift; Mallard; American Black Duck; Wood Duck; Red-shouldered Hawk; Turkey Vulture; Purple Martin; Mourning Dove; Rock Dove; Belted Kingfisher.

Butterflies: Common Buckeye; Painted Lady; Monarch; Viceroy; Eastern Tailed Blue; Pink-edged Sulphur; Common Ringlet; Small White.

Dragonflies: Green Darner; Prince Baskettail; Canada Darner; Widow Skimmer; Twelve-spotted Skimmer; Cherry-faced Medowhawk; Eastern Amberwing; Wandering Glider; Common Whitetail; Vesper Bluet (me only); Tule Bluet; Eastern Forktail; River Bluet (only site in Quebec); Skimming Bluet; Orange Bluet.

I didn’t take many photos.

Least Sandpiper.

The young Caspian Tern, in flight it could look a bit odd.

A very red looking female Green Darner.

Never seen so many Painted Ladies.


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