I was out with Claude yesterday, suffering the birding doldrums that are the end of July-beginning of August period. It was pretty hard work but we scraped 54 species all told. Lots of species seem to have quit already and shorebirds are yet to gather momentum.
We started at St-Lazare sand pits and it wasn’t too bad either, with a couple of Caspian Terns present and a few of each yellowlegs giving side by side comparison. The Great Egret count has now risen to four while an American Bittern took some picking out as it stuck to dense vegetation.
We went on to Cooper’s Marsh where a very nice new boardwalk gives you fine views of vegetation and the neatly mowed paths make it look like an urban park. It was rubbish and always will be until it gets managed for birds. Here’s a plan. Put in a big sluice to the handy lake next door so that you can add water at the right time of the year. Obtain some infill (charge to tip, use the cash) and build cells that are also sluiced, then use the causeways to use a chain-drot to dredge the cells. In front of the existing blinds, cut channels in the vegetation and maintain open water areas that are actually visible. On the circular path cut down some trees so you can view from it. Put a trail straight down to the lake from the visitor center with a viewing tower that can be used to lake watch. Bund the shore below it and use sluices to manipulate the habitat.
We then dropped into St-Timothee Marsh but it was very quiet, although the phragmites crop continues to flourish. Does any birding group have any involvement in the management of that place? We saw bog all there.
Here’s a plan. It wants a watch tower twice the height of the current one and right at the start of the marsh. It wants two more, right and left of the canal path and set at the back of the marsh. The person who drives the side-arm flail that clears the path sides needs to drive it more than once and needs to extend the damn arm next time. They need to do a rotational controlled burn during winter. They need an Osprey pole and floating tern rafts.
In the unlikely event that anyone involved reads this, here is a useful link: http://tommythompsonpark.ca/dotAsset/74120.pdf and here: http://www.filcris.co.uk/products/wildlife-products/tern-rafts and if you don’t have any money to spend but can get the labor, try this cheap option: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-lancashire-23108484
Last off was Beauharnois, where 49 Common Terns and four Black Terns fed around the outflow. By that time the temp was up around 24°C and dozy time had arrived. I didn’t take many pictures so here is a montage.