I love January 1st. It may only be, chronologically speaking, the first day of the year based on a slightly skewed calendar, but there is a frisson of excitement associated with getting out and seeing all those birds again. Today was no different and I dragged Sandra out in the lousy wind chill to enjoy the day.
We started in the yard for the easy ticks, also finding a Brown Creeper, which was nice. The pits added a few and the St-Clet lanes donated their usual Snowy Owls. A quick look at the water below St-Timothee hydro had a surprise Common Loon along with some shivering Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers.
It started to snow but that didn’t put us off, we headed off to the Pont du Gonzague where enough water remains to hold a few birds, notably four Ring-necked Ducks that lit up eBird. Next up was Ste-Martine where the Field Sparrow continues to be as fit as a Butchers’ dog as it brawls with the burlier House Sparrows for seed.
The snow got heavier so we headed home via the barrage at Beauharnois, where a busy batch of gulls wheeled about. It took a while to pick out in poor visibility but there was one Iceland Gull amongst them, an adult, and it eventually came close enough for a record shot.
So the brand new year started off with a modest 28 species and a few winter list ticks. More will follow I’m sure and all will sit comfortably in my shiny new notebook.