Out at St-Tim’s

A drop in temperatures encouraged a few warblers to move at St-Lazare sand pits, Blackpoll, Palm and Myrtle were all to be found along Lotbiniere. The shorebirds are down to one Pectoral Sandpier and one Stilt Sandpiper now after a nice little influx Saturday when there were seven pecs and a Baird’s Sandpiper. There is an immature Merlin hunting the area daily so they probably had had enough of being chased around and headed off. The biggest surprise there today was the presence of two first-year Lesser Black-backed Gulls with one American Herring Gull of similar age. I must admit I did a double take, it was a new species for the site and, obviously, a pits tick for me. The trio stayed about 20 minutes before going off south west, next stop Ontario.

I thought I’d nip along to St-Timothee Marsh while we still have one. The marsh is bisected by a cycle track for those who do not know but the vegetation on the west side is way out of control and they don’t seem to cut the stuff back on the trackside anymore and the silt is building up. Probably the same old story with the cutting, no money, although they seem to have enough to waste on cutting every road verge in Quebec to within inches of their lives all summer, I blame the new PQ Government, well, we have to start blaming them for everything sometime soon, they wanted the job after all.

St-Timothee had a nice selection of visible wildfowl on the east side, the usual suspects such as American Wigeon, Wood Duck and Green-winged Teal but nice to see. Marsh Wrens were very active, chattering away right next to the track and a single immature Least Bittern put on a show before the Northern Harrier below made it nervous. A noisy Virginia Rail belted out its melodic call from within, well melodic if you are a Pig I suppose.  Five Great Egrets strutted in water that should have been over their thighs but was actually only just above their ankles, no wonder there were no Ring-necked Ducks. If they tried to feed they’d bang their heads on the bottom.

Hawk migration seemed virtually nil but a glance up, call it birders sixth sense, had me watching a Broad-winged Hawk passing over. Suddenly a Peregrine appears so I tried to take some snaps as they headed sunwards, results below.

A view of the east side at St-Timothee. A Great Horned Owl usually nests in the Great Blue Heron colony. Two young this year I believe.

The Broad-wing and the Peregine meet and the Broad-wing is having none of it!

I also went to the Hydro outfall at Beauharnois where up to 70 Common Terns are still present but the Bonaparte’s Gulls seem to have gone.

A Belted Kingfisher sat up to be digiscoped but the wire cut through every shot, typical. Here is the original and the same one doctored in Photoshop.


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