It’s cold here at the moment and the birding is hard work. Out west of Montreal we don’t really have anywhere that concentrates migrants in the same way that the leafy parks downtown do. That is not to say that we don’t get the same migrants, they are just much more thinly spread and you can’t always find them. I’ve restricted my seeking to St-Lazare sand pits for the past couple of days. When this lousy wind drops to just gale force I’ll wander a bit further afield and hope that the birds are actually in and eager to catch up on their feeding and singing.
Sunday’s visit yielded five species in 45 minutes, five! Perhaps the Sahara like sand cloud that covered the area was a factor. It kept visibility limited and made my eyes gritty so perhaps that too was a factor.
Today at the pits was slightly better. Rain had dampened the sand so it was not quite so bad and there were more birds. The dying fish fest continues and had attracted an adult Bald Eagle. I was enjoying watching the bird tear apart a Walleye when a second bird landed, younger and with no manners. It muscled straight in and started wolfing down the fish, related perhaps? Despite the range I still waved the camera at them, results below. I was also surprised to find a Common Loon going over, it’s turning out to be my best ever year for Common Loons, I’ll be interested to pull my count from eBird at the end of the year.
While I’m talking about eBird, why oh why does it allow such junk as Sparrow sp, Shorebird sp, Blackbird sp to be entered (if not counted). I can understand the value of recording say Ibis sp or even, at a pinch Eagle sp but there is absolutely no value in putting in sp all the time, none at all. If you look at the Ontario list when entering records they have all that junk on there, the Quebec list is so far unfettered and I hope it stays that way.