Just when I was thinking that it was a quiet day along comes a surprise bird.
St-Lazare sand pits were very tranquil this morning with little evidence of migration. I did my circuit, seeing the regular stuff but no more and was contemplating not bothering walking the soccer pits woodlot trails. As they represent my best chance of Grey-cheeked Thrush there, I convinced myself that I should give it at last a cursory glance, so I did.
The trails were quiet with not a warbler to be found, a contrast to yesterday when there was a busy little flock doing the rounds. Calling Black-capped Chickadees are usually the key to finding the warbler flock so I followed their subdued mutterings to the north-east corner but just found them alone. A slight movement above caught my eye and, expecting to find a stalking a stalking Sharp-shinned Hawk, I positioned myself to see the indistinct blob behind much foliage. It was a Yellow-billed Cuckoo.
I manoeuvered around to get a better angle and perhaps a record shot and it just sat tight. It was a trifle high for a good shot but some sub-pishing got it looking around, and I managed a few record shots before it sloped off. This was only the second site record and a welcome ABA year tick too.
The weather for the rest of September is looking a little too settled for many more surprises, but the first few days of October promise some cold northerlies, making it Golden Eagle time I think. We should also see the wildfowl really start to arrive, it’s time we had a Ruddy Duck at the pits this year or, better still, a scoter.