Sniped

This morning I decided that it was high time I got Wilson’s Snipe on the Quebec year list, so I did. It was also time I looked for the first Upland Sandpipers of the year at my spot on the Quebec/Ontario border, especially as the first Quebec birds had been found on 24-April. No joy with the Uplands but at least the habitat remains unchanged so they will be back.

This afternoon I paid a repeat visit to the pits, this morning was quiet and wet but, once the clouds had lifted a bit, I expected more action. I was not disappointed, three Ospreys flew over and an adult Bald Eagle did the same. That seemed to be it for the hawk passage but I was not surprised, it was getting late in the day. On a whim I thought I’d check to see whether any Field Sparrows had returned. Last year was the first time they’d been anything other than rare at the pits. I’d only gone 20m towards their regular spot when one started up the familiar bouncing song. It took some locating as it sat in a Pine but I got a snap.

While looking for the Field Sparrows I took the opportunity to check out the seasonal pools at the west end of the pits, access had been awkward until the thaw. One looks healthy; one looks like it will not see out June. We could do with four days of biblical rain to top up the water levels but I suspect that we are experiencing a drought.

I currently sit on the horns of a dilemma. At Ottawa there has been a Violet-green Swallow, a second for Ontario and very rare out east. I suspect that it will be a typical weekday bird that scoots before the weekenders get their chance of it. The window for seeing it is small anyway, it seems to vanish after 9am. The question is, do I stay or do I go?

Below a few shots, Wilson’s Snipe – from the photos you cannot quite see the main feature that separates it from Common Snipe, that would be the Atlantic Ocean! Also offered, today’s Field Sparrow and a shoddy Osprey shot, I still had the camera on the manual settings used for the snipe. And the answer to yesterday’s sparrow quiz was, Rufous-collared and Brewer’s Sparrows do not occur in Quebec, yet.

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