Scruffy Trio

With waters thawing and birds piling north I thought it might be worth a look at Hungry Bay today, after the obligatory St-Lazare sand pits visit that is. The pits gave me my first of the year Hermit Thrush, just the one on its own, and a few other things new for the Canada/QC year list too. My seed carpet is getting used by sparrows, lots of juncos as expected but also six Chipping Sparrows today, Fox can’t be too far behind.

At Hungry Bay the ice is going fast and the birds are edging out into the open water with it. Along the Beauharnois Canal itself I got lucky with three Horned Grebes. They were busy feeding when I found them but got very nervous as I approached. I waited until they dived and then sat on a log at just above water level and waited. Eventually they resumed their feeding, unconcerned by my presence. They cruised past at reasonable range and I took as many shots as I could while they made their way along the bankside ice line.

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Elsewhere the story was all about ducks and lots of them. All the regular dspecies were around and easy to see. At the Pont du Gonzague a few Cliff Swallows had arrived back and I had the pleasure of watching them busy themselves while a boat passed through the bridge. At St-Timothee a lingering Snowy Owl sat out in the field opposite the entrance but didn’t think much of the helicopter buzzing about, me neither. The marsh was still pretty frozen but there were plenty of Great Blue Herons on nests and Tree Swallows everywhere.

I’m not sure what has happened at St-Timothee but sections of the cycle track have been dug up and then rough filled. There hasn’t been a nice cataclysmic fire over the winter and so we can look forwards to seeing a tunnel of Phragmites again once the sap heads up. I wonder where I can pick up a scythe at cost?

The topsy-turvy nature of the weather forecast for the next week probably means that we will sweat and shiver in equal measure. The birds are coming back though and we have now started the period where you just have to get out and join in the fun. New stuff is showing up daily and I predict a few arrival date records to go (again).

I mentioned before about my North America year list – nothing wow, just keeping a track this year after Texas and maybe another trip later. I’m up to 248 now, the full list in roughly chronological order is on the side bar, just scroll down to it if you are interested. I expect it to be pushing 380+ by the end of May, lots to see yet.

Anyone out there got any comments on my e-book? Details about where to buy on the tab at the top of the page.

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