It has been some time since I last visited Ste-Martine to look at shorebirds. I remember when we were told to go there for shorebirds back in 2003, and I expected to find marshland or perhaps a river flash. Instead you have what we call a weir in the UK, and below it an expanse of shallow water over rocks. I’d never seen anything quite like it then and it certainly drew shorebirds from far and wide. It was 24-August and we saw a Ruff, both dowitchers, 100+ Lesser Yellowlegs, 40 Greater Yellowlegs, Baird’s and White-rumped Sandpipers, 12 Pectoral Sandpipers, a Stilt Sandpiper and lesser numbers of Least, Semipalmated, Spotted and Solitary Sandpipers, and both Killdeer and Semipalmated Plover. Not bad!

At the time we viewed from a concrete plinth that was eroding away and expected to collapse at any point. If you were on it at the time then bad luck, if not then you just went up the Quebec list rankings by a few. It still stands and is still fenced off but you can get on it at your own risk. Now there is a snazzy lookout on the opposite bank with a path to the shore below the weir. The lookout is set in a small park with a parking lot and plenty of tree and vegetation to attract birds. Today I visited both spots. The former because I didn’t know about the latter and the latter when I saw it from the former.

The attractant, not that the close views of shorebirds are not enough, was a Marbled Godwit (marbleous see). It was grey and raining when I got there but it soon brightened up to grey and raining les. The godwit was asleep for the first half hour or so then wandered over to perform in front of the large lenses. By the time I got over there it was edging further away but I got a few shows. I think it’s the fourth of fifth I’ve seen in QC, great birds and always worth a look when local.

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The shorebird selection was nothing like that first visit but there was still plenty to look at, including a Stilt Sandpiper, almost the image of yesterday’s one at St-Lazare sand pits. There was no sign of two Long-billed Dowitchers reported there yesterday, pity, I wanted them for the ABA year list. I did get good views of commoner stuff though and a few photo ops in the gloom. Below are a shots of a Lesser Yellowlegs, the Stilt Sand and a Semipalmated Sandpiper showing a classic’ stuck on’ bill. If you’ve not been over for a look at the new set-up at Ste-Martine I recommend it.

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After, I had a quick look at St-Lazare sand pits where a Blackburnian Warbler was the only new thing from yesterday.

Bye the way, for some reason I get a lot of spam on this site and sometimes the filter fails to pick them and I have to review them. I really don’t understand what spammers are trying to do, or why the name of something I fondly know of as a tasty fried treat, has been appropriated by the Internet to represent something bad. Anyway, if you left a message and it looked at all spammy to me, you got binned.


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