Double Dip Week

As a general rule I don’t wander too far during the week, although once in a while I’ll have a trip out further than just St-Lazare sand pits and area. This week I chanced a trip to the Richelieu Valley to look for a year tick Barnacle Goose. After the success of the Townsend’s Warbler twitch, well at the second attempt at least, I felt I was on a roll. It also helps that Red Dwarf (the name of the new used car) seems to be more capable of actually completing the trip than did the Squat Pig (try to keep up).

I quickly discovered that I was not, in fact, on a roll and failed miserably to find the goose. I wasn’t the only one and it has not been reported since so perhaps I shouldn’t feel too bad. Today I ran out to St-Timothee, not a trek I grant you, to look for a reported Eurasian Wigeon. Having seen possibly over half a million Eurasian Wigeon in my life, I couldn’t justify the jaunt, even for a year tick, but there was also a Sora there and I managed to get that and besides, who in their right mind would pass up the opportunity to see the phragmites spectacular that is the St-Timothee Marsh experience.

It was pretty cold and windy today, the wind is from the north-west and bringing with it those chilling bursts that nobody thinks are clever. While out St-Timothee way I checked on the Peregrine nest box on the Pont du Gonzague. This time I saw two birds, one had a good flutter around bit always at range, hence the composite shot below.


Earlier in the week the last of the ground snow went away and good riddance to it. The birds are still in the garden though and it is nice to be able to enjoy a couple of Purple Finch, Fox and White-throated Sparrows. The Pine Warbler seems to have acquired a taste for peanuts and sunflower seed and has been in daily. I wouldn’t normally use a feeder shot but well…

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This male American Goldfinch is what is known as the scabby phase.


I have a bit of a dilemma at the moment. Do I go to Brossard and ruin people’s chances of seeing a Summer Tanager? It is QC tick for me but I hate birding folks’ gardens and my lousy French doesn’t help. Tomorrow the wind goes away so perhaps I’ll make it a triple dip week anyway. Should I also muster the enthusiasm to then go on to Baie du Febvre to look for a Brewer’s Blackbird, a stunning female that is er, dark grey and named after Thomas Mayo Brewer (along with a type of salad dressing I think). Choices, choices.

Incidentally, if you are mulling over whether to go on the Panama trip I’m trying to run inDecember, I have potentially four people so I only need two more and then everyone to confirm for it to go. It is the cheapest trip you’ll find, we should get 200+ species and it will be fun. If you fancy it or want more information just send me an email to

A few more photos below but not very good ones it’s true. The Northern Harrier was at the pits but distant. The Ruby-crowned Kinglet refused to turn around no matter how alluring my kinglet impression was and the Tree Swallow was just totally fed up with the cold wind, I know I was.

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