Over the past few days I’ve been out and about as usual. Yesterday it was with Richard who is like the Dalai Lama of Bird Protection Québec (BPQ) but without the flowing robes and good looks. I used to be in the BPQ myself once but they don’t produce what I, as a birder, expect from a society. The Ontario Field Ornithologists do though, so I’m a member there.
Snowy Owls continue to dominate the birding scene, we saw 11 yesterday. I feel that they are moving away, which direction they are going I couldn’t say but the numbers are falling and birds that had been resident for five or six weeks are no longer there. Earlier in the week I did see one new addition to the local Snowy Owl count when I came across a bird I christened ‘Popeye’. You can see from the photo that it only has one eye and, given that there seems to be no damage in the area, has been that way for a while.
Yesterday’s owls were not as easy to photograph as previously, with one exception. We did also see a few Snow Buntings, most were at the seed put down for banding. We spent a while with them and Richard go some nice shots for his blog http://sparroworks.ca/wildlifing/ We were out for about three hours in total but most of it was just chugging from site to site to take in the owls. Below are my shots from the day, the one on the silo is digiscoped.
Today I was out again but not for too long, I have stuff to do. I took in a Red-necked Grebe that is on a tiny patch of water on the Solange Canal at Coteau-du-Lac http://goo.gl/maps/CKy5x I watched it for a while as it fed without problem although it did look a little waterlogged at times. At one point it was calling, it could be that it does not have the leg-room in which to reach a take-off speed although, with a bit of planning, it could probably manage it.
While out I also looked in on the Snow Buntings and found that the three Lapland Longspurs were again with them after being absent yesterday. They are coming into summer plumage now, in a few weeks they are going to look very smart indeed. I got one dodgy shot at the seed and started to clone it out in Photoshop but quickly lost interest.