A few years ago Sandra and I went to see a Trumpeter Swan up north. It was brief experience but it was good to see such a Québec rarity at the time. Since then they have bred (in roughly the same area) and we seem to be seeing the slow (re) colonisation of Québec by them. Their provenance may be open to question as there has been a various reintroduction schemes in the Northern USA and their progeny are known to have dispersed widely. Whatever the origins of the birds now being seen in our area, they are always both welcome and instructive and so with that in mind I nipped off to St-Jean-sur-Richelieu to see an adult that had appeared there recently.
It was easy to find with it being big, white and sat in the middle of the Richelieu River but it was fairly distant. I took a few rough record shots (below) that don’t really do it justice, it definitely looked better in the scope.
While out that way I took the opportunity to see the crippled Hudsonian Godwit that continues to make a life for itself at the end of Rang 53 in St-Blaise. The bird was easy to find and I was surprised that is was in the company of seven Pectoral Sandpipers and a Dunlin. Today seems to have been the day of the Pec in Southern Québec as I had ten at St-Lazare sand pits this morning (and a Dunlin). Perhaps more ominously I had a party of Snow Buntings flying around – I think snow is the operative word here.
It’s been quite an October for birding so far here this year and we’ve probably note done yet. The overnight temperature went down to -5°C and there is ice at the pits on the smaller pools. The cold spell will only last a couple of days but it may kick-off a movement of the remaining northern birds that sensibly chose to winter further south. Whatever happens with the rest of the year it has been a great one bird-wise, anything else is just icing on the cake.
Sorry about the lousy photos, they are record shots.