I seem to be fitting 27 hours into 24 at the moment. The final packing is almost done, stacked and ready for the movers. In between I’ve been out again, this time to a couple of spots for one last look. I had hoped to hit 200 in QC for the year before I submit my last eBird checklist, yesterday took me to 93 so I was pessimistic unless seven good birds were going to drop into the yard. Today’s activity see’s that year total on 197, pessimism be gone and let us usher in guarded optimism.
The first addition was Semipalmated Sandpiper at the pits, and I’m glad I took the trouble to take a closer look, it would have been easy to dismiss the two birds as Least Sandpipers at range.
I then did a quick spin along Chemin Fief, one of my little spots and one that holds fond memories, not least of finding a Hawk Owl there one winter and seven, yes seven Great Grey Owls another time. It didn’t offer anything new but the Eastern Meadowlarks and Bobolinks were busy and entertaining.
I decided I’d walk the L’Escapade trail off Chemin St-Henry, another nice spot and a good place to look for some of the harder to find species. The first part of the trail revealed that extensive brush clearance had taken place, sometime last year perhaps, hopefully not in the breeding season. This meant that the first Mourning Warbler territory had no residents and I had to hike a bit further to find them. As I was watching a singing bird, a Black-billed Cuckoo came by, then a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher started singing. Three year species in one shortish stroll, plus great views of common things too.
The photos are of: Alder Flycatcher, Common Yellowthroat, Mourning Warbler and the same Alder Flycatcher.
Unless the less common shorebirds remember where Quebec is, I might just fall short of the big 200 although I have a plan. On the way to Nova Scotia we pass La Pocatiere, a potential rest stop and perhaps provider of a few more year ticks such as Nelson’s Sparrow, Common Eider and any scoter. If I can snaffle a Philadelphia Vireo or even a Grey-cheeked Thrush tomorrow I just might be able to sign off in style.