Sunday, August 10, 2008

A little local luck

I nipped out to St-Lazare sand pits this aftenoon hoping to see a Caspian Tern seen there yesterday. My luck was in and an immature was ambling around one of the few muddy islands present on the main pits lake. A short while later a noisy adult joined it, occasionally offering titbits (Americans note that is how you say and spell it, don't be so bashful, the word "bits" can be said in public!). I stayed 45 minutes or so seeing three groups of Wood Duck, two Purple Martins and a few other nice things before a thunderstorm began to brew (see view shot).

My plan had been to drop down to the Chemin de Fleuve (I might have missed a la there, sorry) at Les Cedres to see what was bobbing about but the approaching soaking forced a change so I drove back home via the St-Lazare pinade on the off-chance. This proved to be a good decision as, just off the road by the fifty fifth no parking sign (sarcasm, Google it), an Olive-sided Flycatcher was sallying forth spelling doom to insects within range. Normally these are on the top of some distant tree at Parc Tremblant (see previous posting from 2007 or sneeze on your computer screen and squint at the dots, same thing).

The light was going quicker than a Bank Manager's patience so I took a few shots with the Canon 400m lens then digiscoped it using a wobbly window clamp. Luckily it kept returning to the same perch so I enjoyed my best ever views of this scarce Quebec breeder.

The results are not great but you get the idea. Is this the turning point and the autumn passage is now fully underway? Incidentally, in the Caspian Tern video is the darkest Greater Yellowlegs I have ever seen, at first glance through bins a moulting Spotted Redshank was considered but the scope soon put paid to that fantasy, interesting though.

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