Woodland Harmonies

Every day has seen year list additions, most are expected as part of the filling in for summer, but doesn’t make them any less welcome. Although I have been largely confined to birding St-Lazare sand pits, I have strayed locally a little in search of stuff not likely to show up at the pits. I gave Les Coteaux Jetty a try, nothing much there, certainly not the hoped for sea ducks or Red-throated Loon. While there I kept hearing Common Terns calling but my 360° view failed to find them. As I was I leaving, I looked up and there were the little devils, sat on a lamp standard!

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Shorebirds have been arriving although the species range is so far limited. The pits owners is busy digging sand and is a constant disturbance, actually a good thing as it puts most shorebirds on the mud by the roadside bank. This Dunlin probed there recently and over the past two days 56 Least Sandpipers have dropped in along with the expected yellowlegs and Semipalmated Plovers, should be a chance of a Pectoral or, whisper it, a phalarope.

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My daily routine tends to start with a look at the open pits area from the road then on into the Soccer Pitch woods. Today I stepped in and two Wood Thrushes were singing a duet. This was only my second pits record (I think), so I walked with stealth and cunning, never easy to do on a leaf-covered floor and positively sidled up to one of them. Unusually this skittish species kept foraging away and eventually came out onto the heavily shaded path. Shooting at 1000ISO I got a few record shots, the views were actually terrific.

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The evening before, Sandra and I did an evening pits visit, adding American Woodcock, Eastern Whip-poor-will (seen) and, another surprise, Great Horned Owl to the year list. My pits tally is 107 for the year but with only until May-28th to go, I can’t see me making any attempt on the year list record of 180.


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