Trundled down to the pits this morning; bumping into Wayne Grubert there who was on a Buff-breasted Sandpiper mission. No Buff-breast today, but an American Golden Plover came over and there were three Pectoral Sandpipers around. It was pretty cool for September, clouding over gradually and the conditions might make for a good and visible flight of Broad-winged Hawks that were surely grounded yesterday by the rain.
Ospreys are moving too, I saw two today and no doubt many more are wandering past out there as I type. Smaller birds were harder to find though, just Tennessee and Yellow-rumped Warblers in with a flock of Chipping Sparrows. We were entertained by a young Merlin that attacked everything from shorebird to Caspian Tern and was probably responsible for smaller birds keeping low. At one point it chased a calling bird, as yet unidentified but I happened to have the iPod on record and have a faint call, another one to work on.
The bit below was on the eBird rare bird alert from Quebec. I’m not sure how it works but presume that the reviewers get to see the alerts before they go out, if so quite how this slipped through I’m not sure but I’m quite sure that Karen isn’t seeing Little Blue Herons often, not in Quebec at any rate.
Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea) (1) – Reported Sep 09, 2014 18:00 by Karen Pick – Rivière Beauport et Fleuve St.-Laurent, Québec, Quebec – Map: http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&t=p&z=13&q=46.8490315,-71.1988735&ll=46.8490315,-71.1988735 – Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S19826224 – Comments: “Feeding where the river empties into the St. Lawrence. I often see Little Blue Herons in and about Quebec City.”
There was also an intriguing claim of a Yellow-nosed Albatross, seen by some kayakers out on the Richelieu River. It was looked for subsequently but not seen. These things have a habit of avoiding people and the claim recalls one in the UK a few years ago. The albatross was caught in the south-west of England, when it landed on a piece of rough ground. It made the local press and was released, but virtually no birders saw it. Later the same day an angler (who I actually knew personally) was on a permit-only water on the east coast of England and photographed a funny bird with his camera, normally reserved for photos of the Carp he caught. It was presumably the same albatross. It stayed there, squabbling for scraps with local Mallards long enough for thousands to see it and for the site owner to make a fortune in gate money. Nobody else ever did and the photos only came to light after the bird had left.
Wouldn’t it be great if it the Richelieu report is one and sits where we can all see it.
Going back to eBird. We went to see a Buff-breasted Sandpiper near Casselman a couple of weeks ago but the record is not on the eBird map for the species, even though it is in my records under the Ontario tab, peculiar.
Below are a couple of dodgy shots from this morning.