April 16th-27th 2007
After what seemed an age the snow and ice have finally gone and the birds can get on with their summer lives.
Year ticks have been arriving at a steady pace and the year list is now 140. Continuing the search for a Tufted Titmouse I visited the Philipsburg reserve in southern Quebec on April 19th. No titmouse but a good day’s birding in fine weather. An early migrant there was Lincoln’s Sparrow, two birds seen well on the fringe of the marsh and a species that tends to arrive in Quebec later in April or in early May. For the first time butterflies were on the wing and several Mourning Cloaks, called Camberwell beauty in Europe, were out sunning themselves.
Sunday 22nd April saw us heading off along the St-Lawrence to a new site for us at Contracouer where we had distant views of a male Eurasian Wigeon. Moving on we went to Baie du Febvre as it is usually fairly quiet there people wise and there is always the possibility of something interesting. As it happened half of Quebec had descended on the place making it look very untidy. There was very little space to view from at the lookouts and there appeared to be a boy scout infestation. We ticked off Ruddy Duck and left, the next day a Glossy Ibis showed up, we may yet have to revisit and soon.
During the following week White-throated Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow and Brown Thrasher arrived and, as spring gathers momentum, the year list will swell rapidly.
Below are a few shots from the period including a few mammals and the Mourning Cloaks.
To paraphrase Homer Simpson, Doe!
A Muskrat being unobtrusive.
Red Squirrel and, above, a cute little Chipmunk, ah!
One of our local Pileated Woodpeckers, almost as destructive to trees as our local property developers, almost!
A hirsute cousin of the above.
Soaring BOP 1 (bird of prey), the ever increasing Turkey Vulture.
Soaring BOP 2, male Northern Harrier.
Soaring BOP 3, a Rough-legged Hawk heading north.
Mourning Cloak or Camberwell Beauty, your choice.