Wind, rain and American Golden Plovers

Today the weather got worse with stronger winds, drizzle and no discernable passage. Birding the Pits was brief affair, given that the cold wind was blasting into my regular spots and the birds had their heads down. Didn’t see the Long-billed Dowitcher and the shorebird numbers were low, suggesting they too are sheltering somewhere. On a whim I chanced a drive down the lanes of St-Clet, mostly to check what the landscape was like in advance of winter, it helps to know what snags are available when searching for Snowy Owls.

When I can I like to drive an un-made farm road which runs from near St-Polycarpe and out on to Chemin St-Marie. It was a good choice today as I put up a flock of about 70 American Golden Plovers, always a nice find locally. The birds soon settled down and I sat tight in the car observing from a distance. The light was attrocious but that is what you pay a fortune for good optics for. Slowly they advance to near enough to my position for me to try to get photographs. Three hundred frames later the best are below.

Take a good look at the extent to which the primaries on one of the birds extend beyond the tail. If it had tried a bit harder it could have been a candidate for a Eurasian Golden Plover, too much eyestripe and not short billed enough though, oh! and its in a field in Quebec! The last photo is a Pileated Woodpecker but you knew that.

Habitat shot, a muddy field, ideal for American Golden Plovers