Sticky

With a humidex rating in the high thirties it is hot and sticky here, from early in the day until well after dusk. The upturn in temperatures is welcome and dragonflies appear to be clawing back their flight periods although the early fliers are done for another year. Some local birds have managed to raise broods, mostly the feeder emptying grackles but birds nevertheless. I’ve only managed a couple of sorties this past week, the screen-porch we are building has been time-consuming and has now run over into another weekend but we are nearly there.

After posting last time that I was slow getting back into the local birding groove, I felt motivated to get out around St-Lazare sand pits more thoroughly. I did and was rewarded with a patch tick – an Eastern Towhee in an area that I’d previously thought would be my best bet to attract one. I’ve not seen or heard it since but it might be a sign that the tide of southern Quebec specialities such as towhee and Field Sparrow are continuing to move north. My extended walk also confirmed that at least one Field Sparrow was still singing.

A sure sign that we have turned the corner and are heading towards winter was the presence of a returning Greater Yellowlegs in summer plumage – a very smart bird and looking just like one I found at Spurn in the UK many years ago but that is another story. I only had the small camera with me and the light was still rough at the time but you get the idea. I also located another colony of Bank Swallows and they seem to be in an area that will not get excavated anytime soon. Another week and good feeding and there should be a few more flying with luck.

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After the towhee success and with the sun actually starting to poke through, I headed towards the seasonal pond at the west end of the site. My main intention for going that way was to search for dragonflies, a couple of species in particular. The results of the odeing can be seen at http://quebecodes.wordpresss.com The visit also allowed me to check out the Indigo Bunting numbers and to see whether any Chestnut-sided Warblers had a territory. I found perhaps four singing male Indigo Buntings and a pair of Chestnut-sided Warblers in a spot where I’d had them before.

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If we can wrap up our screen-porch project this weekend as expected then I’ll be out a bit more next week, I can feel a Baie Brazeau tip coming on.

Finally I dug out a few more Panama shots. A few odes (unidentified as yet), a butterfly that joined us for breakfast and a few iffy shots of birds.

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Below are shots of a Great Kiskadee and a Boat-billed Flycatcher. I always get a blind spot with the latter species whenever we are in the tropics and tend to dismiss all bit and yellow flycatchers as kiskadees at just a glance.

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Below are odd shots of Dusky-faced Tanager, Crested Bobwhite (the arty version), Ruddy-breasted Seedeater, the mystery butterfly and a Brown-throated Parakeet.

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