I ventured over to Hudson today to look for a male Barrow’s Goldeneye, seen by Wayne Grubert yesterday on the Ottawa River off Thompson Park. No joy, unfortunately, it’s a big river and lots of it is simply beyond viewing, thanks to all the posh houses that line the bank.
As I was out that way, I hopped over to St-Clet to see whether the Snowy Owls had arrived yet, nope, not yet but perhaps soon. Out in the farmland, a rough track called Montee Cholette, see previous post, had been very birdy recently, and it was as good as anywhere to seek owls. The track is quite reasonable actually, it might be livelier in the wet but, for now, no problems.
On arrival I couldn’t see any small birds, but a scan revealed two Rough-legged Hawks engaged in well, hawking, so I made for them. They were a bit nervy and flew as I approached, so I continued on down another track I’d never explored. After about a kilometre or so I can across another Rough-legged Hawk, one a bit less worried about me, and I was able to creep the one ton of maroon van towards it. Poor light meant that I was shooting as 1000 ISO, so the shots are a bit grainy, but not terrible and they pick out the poo of an unspecified animal on the mound a treat.
The track ended at a railway crossing, so I doubled back and did a full scan from the main track. I counted ten Rough-legged Hawks in total, all from the one position. Three were of the all-dark form with silvery wing linings, the rest were the standard version. Here is an image of a dark form taken north of Tadoussac, below are the shots of one of todays pale form birds.
Finally I made the obligatory call into St-Lazare sand pits, where a Common Redpoll was a year-list addition, #178, three to go to beat last year’s record, I really wish I’d made the effort to look for a late-August Common Nighthawk now.
For new visitors – I seem to be getting all sorts of people from far away countries these days, and I’m sure that they are not all spammers – on the side bar are links to my birding eBooks, two are available free, two you’ll need to dip into the penny jar for. For those of you with Kobo eReaders, all four are now available through their on-line store.