After catching up on sleep, mostly because some kid in the room next to me in Reno thought flushing the toilet every five minutes until 2.am was a good idea, I was late out today. After three weeks without the dubious pleasures of St-Lazare sand pits I was ready for disappointment. Still frozen but for some reason attractive to Ring-billed Gulls the pits were quite barren but will improve quickly. A stand and scan was the best option for a Northern Shrike for the March list. No shrikes this time but a Golden Eagle soaring over the site was adequate compensation. Add to that my first QC Turkey Vulture of the year and some Snow Geese and it turned out to be a better than expected visit.
On a roll we went to nearby Montee Chenier, now open as the thaw gains pace. On the deck was another Turkey Vulture, snacking on some morsel or other that the nearby American Crows coveted too. All around were lots of Canada Geese, one Cackling Goose and a Rough-legged Hawk. A drive around the St-Clet area produced a further seven Rough-legged Hawks including a dark form. In one set of fields, Snow Geese were gathering, perhaps 5,000 or so. Snow Buntings were around also with two flocks for total of 150. Common Grackles were in abundance and Red-winged Blackbirds were conspicuous too. I’ll have a better look early tomorrow, it will be interesting to see whether the piebald Red-winged Blackbird shows up again, see posts from March 2012 to see what I mean.