It was a windless start today and the pits main lake looked just like a mirror, albeit one that someone had sneezed on as various items of debris broke the sheen. Out there were a couple of Lesser Scaup but not a lot else. The margins proved more interesting with season first Spotted Sandpipers (4) and Lesser Yellowlegs. An Osprey dropped by and easily stole a fish then proceeded to eat it while stood out on one of the sandy islands, I was inspired, so inspired that I went to Hungry Bay.
After each winter there is a blessed insect free period here where you can wear short sleeves and don’t have to bathe in Deet before venturing forth. It seems to me though that the halcyon period gets shorter each year and today marked the end of peace and the opening of hostilities. There had been a mass emergence of biting flies at Hungry Bay and I seemed to meet all of them. There were plenty of birds to look at, 12 Common Loons for example, but the flies did for me, it’s hard to concentrate when they are in your ear and up your nose. I must have swallowed a hundred and I really can’t see what Swifts see in them, no real flavour at all!
Having driven out to Hungry Bay I decided to go the extra kilometer and see whether the Montee Smellie/Rue Higgins area held anything. I managed to find a couple of Eastern Towhees and a Solitary Sandpiper but no Upland Sandpipers. The nice wet field at the south end of Montee Smellie has been ‘ditched’ so no more roadside photography options there.
As it was on my way home I chanced a look at St-Timothee. The place is in need of a good burn but, like so many wildlife site, it gets no management and so a larger part of it is just a screen of reeds. Birdlife was so, so. The usual stuff but at least I got my season first Bank Sand Swallow Martin, you choose the combination that you like best. On the way back I checked a nice bit of flooded grass off Montee Chenier/St-Dominique – it is an area where they dug in a new pipeline a few years ago and it stays wet a while now. For such a minor spot it was quite good with nine Greater Yellowlegs, Two Wilson’s Snipe and some Green-winged Teal.
Not much of April left now, May will be much more of a sprint. I just hope we get a few hold-up days, weather-wise unlike recent years where high pressure has ushered everything in. Below a few photos from today including a nice Red Fox that this time, didn’t see me before I saw him.