Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What a difference a month makes!

The spring rush continues apace with species filling the gaps where the snow used to be. A sortie on May 7th around the general area, St-Lazare sand pits, Le Grande Montee and then over to St-Timothee marsh and environs produced an absorbing day and the first 100 species trip of the year.

Starting at Saddlebrook Bog, or at least what is left of it, an earlyish Common Yellowthroat and a couple of Rusty Blackbirds got the day cooking, also a singing warbler just would not show and I'm hoping to settle down with the tapes later to confirm my tentative ID.

Moving on to the pits where a flock of 25 American Pipits were a nice surprise although they are annual there. Both Scaup species were on the main body of water and the Vesper Sparrows were singing loudly. New for the year there were Nashville Warbler, Baltimore Oriole, Rose-breasted Grsobeak and Warbling Vireo. Northern Rough-winged Swallows were 'in' and a Solitary Sandpiper stood a lone vigil in solitude.

A few miles further on and Montee St-Angelique had a thrashing Brown Thrasher and a couple of Purple Finch, no bluebirds evident though.

I regularly visit an area called Le Grande Montee which is a minor road that is 150m into Ontario. I was a bit late in the day so the Upland Sandpipers were not showing but several Bobolinks were back from their South American wintering grounds, singing their larynx twisting song.

Progressing to St-Timothee in an orderly manner as they say, a pleasant few hours failed to be troubled by anything unusual. At around this point I realised 100 species was possible though and so I made a bit of effort. At Melocheville the first two Caspian Terns of the year loafed with the Ring-billed Gulls above the hydro dam and I found a few Hooded Mergansers and some Green-winged Teal.

With two species to go for the ton I resorted to the garden feeders adding Red-breasted Nuthatch in the evening drizzle.

Below a few shots, you are all big birders now so don't really need the ID on a plate now do you?

Noisy the local Red-shouldered Hawk setting up the territory with a few chosen threats.

A little sequence of Ruby-crowned Kinglets with their ruby crowns a glowing.

The Caspian Terns at Melocheville, a neat birding spot for a scan around.

Below a Mourning Cloak, there are more thing flying than just birds and the all round naturalist should be able to take time out to ID at least the common species.
Don't House Finches look gorgeous when wet!

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