Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Warblers 19

Cape May Warbler Setophaga tigrina
Canada Warbler Cardellina canadensis
Northern Parula Setophaga americana
Tennessee Warbler Leiothlypis peregrina
Wilson’s Warbler Cardellina pusilla
Yellow Warbler Setophaga petechia

White-throated Sparrow Zonotrichia albicollis
Lincoln’s Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii

White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
Ruby-throated Hummingbird Archilochus colubris
  Big warbler day! The warbler waves started shallow in the early morning, until I stopped at a large tree where a field in northern NDN meets the UofM woods. A trickle of warblers percolated through the tree when a breeze picked up, and I chuckled when I realized that I’d just seen single examples of 10 different species – it was like looking at the first page in the warbler section in the field guide!
  The warbler waves intensified in Mount-Royal Cemetery, and by midday, every flowering tree was aquiver with mixed warbler balls, notably Tennessee Warblers. Trying to ID Orange-crowned Warblers among all that was a nightmare, but there were a few out there. The 6-hour (8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.) walk produced a count of 60 species, a satisfying way to wind-down what I think of as ‘golden week.’ Ow, my neck, ow ow ow.

Mount-Royal Cemetery, (Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery), May 22, 2018
Turkey Vulture-1
Peregrine Falcon-(1 on the tower)
Merlin-1 low over Oak Ridge
Ring-billed Gull-2 (1)
Chimney Swift-(1 near Decelles)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird-1 on Oak Ridge
Downy Woodpecker-2 (1)
Hairy Woodpecker-1 (2)
Pileated Woodpecker-1 in D3
Least Flycatcher-3 (1)
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher-1 seen and heard on Oak Ridge
Great Crested Flycatcher-3 (1)
Warbling Vireo-2 on Oak Ridge, 2 on Pine Hill Side, (3 trilling in the north woods)
Philadelphia Vireo-1 on Pine Hill Side
Red-eyed Vireo-3 (2)
Blue-headed Vireo-2 on Mountain View, (2 in the north woods)
American Crow-4 (2)
Black-capped Chickadee-5 (2)
White-breasted Nuthatch-1 (1)
Red-breasted Nuthatch-1
House Wren-2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet-1 (1)
Eastern Bluebird-2 on Mountain View, 2 in C5, 2 in D3
Swainson’s Thrush-15+ (12+)
Veery-2 on Mountain View
Gray-cheeked Thrush-(1 in the northern woods)
American Robin-2 (2)
Gray Catbird-3 (1)
Cedar Waxwing-8 on Pine Hill Side
European Starling-(2 near Decelles)
Tennessee Warbler-35+ (6)
Nashville Warbler-(1 in the northern woods)
Orange-crowned Warbler-2 on Oak Ridge mixed in with Tennessee Warblers, talk about a headache, (1 in the northern woods)
Northern Parula-1 on Oak Ridge
Yellow Warbler-(1 singing along the western fence)
Chestnut-sided Warbler-1 male on Pine Hill Side
Magnolia Warbler-7 (5)
Cape May Warbler-2 males on Oak Ridge, 1 female on Pine Hill Side, (2 females in the northern woods)
Blackburnian Warbler-(1 male in the northern woods)
Black-throated Blue Warbler-1 on Mountain View, 1 on Pine Hill Side, (1 in the northern woods)
Black-throated Green Warbler-1 on Oak Ridge, 1 on Pine Hill Side, (1 in the northern woods)
Yellow-rumped Warbler-5 (6 in the northern woods)
Blackpoll Warbler-(1 male in the northern woods)
Bay-breasted Warbler-6 scattered throughout, (2 in the northern woods)
Black-and-white Warbler-1 on Oak Ridge
American Redstart-2 males on Oak Ridge, 1 female on Pine Hill Side
Common Yellowthroat-1 on Oak Ridge, heard only
Canada Warbler-2 on Oak Ridge, singing at times
Wilson’s Warbler-1 on Pine Hill Side
Rose-breasted Grosbeak-1 female on Pine Hill Side
Indigo Bunting-(2 males chasing each other in the northern woods)
Northern Cardinal-3 (1)
Chipping Sparrow-20+ (12+)
Song Sparrow-8 (4)
Lincoln’s Sparrow-2 or 3 on Mountain View, 2 on Oak Ridge
White-crowned Sparrow-1 in A4, 2 in D3
White-throated Sparrow-1 on Mountain View, 1 on Pine Hill Side
American Goldfinch-8+ (4)
House Finch-(1 singing near Decelles)

Monday, May 21, 2018

Up North

Cerulean blue...cerulean blue...
Red-shouldered Hawk Buteo lineatus
Joey didn't believe me that this was a...
Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Gray Catbird Dumetella carolinensis getting after the sumac
Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula
Magnolia Warbler Setophaga magnolia
Magnolia Warbler Setophaga magnolia
  Spent a day getting Joey buckets of lifers, mostly warblers. Lucky feller, I miss getting loads of lifers. The Boisé Ste-Dorothée woods were just lovely – birdy (62 species), quiet (as in no other humans), and remarkably unbuggy for this time of year. I imagine the place will be a mogie hellhole in another week. That was the case when Dan and I went there a couple of Junes ago to dip on some nutty warbler, when we got chomped up big-time. Unless of course it's a horrific sign that the bugs are almost all gone and we're all screwed.
  The bird action didn’t let up when we got to Joey’s backyard – we were still ticking off lifers from the back porch! It was badass to watch Blackburnian Warblers (among others) while sipping mojitos at dusk. A short walk to the nearby ‘Woodcock Fields’ after sundown did not produce any namesake peent calls, but we did spot a couple of Common Nighthawks feeding over the field, which was super-cool to see. We used to have those over NDG. Used to.
  Haven’t been taking so many pictures lately, as my camera is a steaming piece of feces, and it’s hunchback-heavy.

Boisé Ste-Dorothée, Laval, May 20, 2018
Great Egret-1
Green Heron-1
Canada Goose-5
Wood Duck-1
Red-shouldered Hawk-1
Broad-winged Hawk-(1 from the road nearby)
Bald Eagle-1 high overhead
Ring-billed Gull-4
Ruby-throated Hummingbird-1
Belted Kingfisher-1
Downy Woodpecker-3
Hairy Woodpecker-2
Northern Flicker-3
Pileated Woodpecker-1
Least Flycatcher-6+
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher-2 tureeing their way around the north end of the main swamp, watched well
Eastern Phoebe-1
Great Crested Flycatcher-5
Eastern Kingbird-4
Warbling Vireo-2
Red-eyed Vireo-6
Blue Jay-4
American Crow-5
Common Raven-1
Black-capped Chickadee-7
Brown Creeper-1
White-breasted Nuthatch-4
House Wren-1 or 2
Swainson’s Thrush-8
Grey-cheeked Thrush-1
Hermit Thrush-3
American Robin-5
Gray Catbird-6
Cedar Waxwing-4
European Starling-2
Tennessee Warbler-4
Yellow Warbler-12+
Chestnut-sided Warbler-1
Magnolia Warbler-6
Blackburnian Warbler-1
Black-throated Blue Warbler-1
Black-throated Green Warbler-3
Yellow-rumped Warbler-4
Bay-breasted Warbler-4
American Redstart-3
Common Yellowthroat-3
Wilson's Warbler-1
Northern Cardinal-3
Song Sparrow-12+
Lincoln’s Sparrow-1
Swamp Sparrow-1
White-throated Sparrow-2
Baltimore Oriole-6+
Red-winged Blackbird-10+
Common Grackle-12+
Brown-headed Cowbird-6
House Sparrow-2
American Goldfinch-6+
House Finch-2 in the suburban helltopia near the trailhead

Down South

Trumpeter Swan Cygnus buccinator
There was a Cerulean Warbler kicking around this area last year...
I used to draw this exact house in kindergarten
  Went down to the George Montgomery Sanctuary in Philipsburg with George Levtchouk and a BPQ gang on Saturday morn (May 19th). The place tickled some musty memories, as I’d been there with Dan in 1989 (on a PQSPB trip), when I picked up my first Wood Thrush. 1989! We were just little towheaded lads back then, wearing short pants, and playing with penny-whistles and moon-rockets, spending all our pocket money on lick-em’ drops and spin-lollies.
  Here’s the list. I saw most of what was on there, and I also heard the distant but distinctive notes of a Yellow-throated Vireo.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

On an island in the sun

In the land of the drowned forest
The boardwalk was 'thrilling' to traverse at times
Wait...hold up...is that...never mind, another Yellow-rumped...
'Dees in the woods
'Dees on the water
Montreal on the horizon

Yellow Warbler Setophaga petechia
Canada Warbler Cardellina canadensis
American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla with nesting materials
Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula with nesting materials
Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus
White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
Savannah Sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis
Gray Catbird Dumetella carolinensis
Great Crested Flycatcher Myiarchus crinitus
Eastern Kingbird Tyrannus tyrannus
Common Tern Sterna hirundo
Black Tern Chlidonias niger
Marsh Wren Cistothorus palustris

Common Grackle Quiscalus quiscula
American Mink Neovison vison a'leapin'
Common Garter Snake Thamnophis sirtalis
Common Garter Snake Thamnophis sirtalis
Snapping Turtle Chelydra serpentina - a tiny hatchling, slightly larger
than a twonie, it was possibly close to death - torpid, eyes not opening...
  A scrumptious fresh and sunny day on one of my favourite birding spots, the ‘island-of-all-habitats.’ When I look at the perfect blue skies and guzzle the fresh, clean air, I don’t take it for granted. My friends still in Korea relate tales of routine horrifyingly polluted air over the peninsula. It seems that even in the short time I’ve been away, the air has gotten markedly worse, largely due to a double-digit increase in the number of coal power plants in the past couple of years. I feel your pain.
  A super birdy day at D’youville, with bird activity on every plane of sight we chose to look at (76 species on the day). There were clouds of Tree Swallows over the Grande Digue, and when we stared into the sun, smaller squadrons of varied hirundines were discernible wheeling above. It was a solid refresher course on this fast-moving family of birds.
  I got a short video of the Marsh Wren that ended up being off-kilter. In my defence, the video function on my camera is brutally tricky to use (can’t look through the viewfinder in video mode, only the display screen, which is not an easy task in the noon sun), and the damn thing is heavy, too. Can’t wait for it to break so I can pick up one of these spiffy new bridge cameras that weigh as much as a wee kinglet. Everyone has ‘em these days. On that note...
  I’m afraid it’s high-horse time. There was a phalanx of photographers lined up in a scrubby area, all keyed up about a ‘rare’ Canada Warbler. Bird photography is a lovely pastime, but perhaps these fancy cameras should include a "10 Basic Birding Tips" pamphlet in their packaging. Or better yet, folks could pick up a cheap pair of binoculars to go with their pricey cameras, and practice the skill of making a bird appear in the eyepieces. A modicum of basic birding skills would go a long way towards preventing the shenanigans that play out at these twitch-scrums.

  The majority of the photogs jostling for a shot had no binoculars, and kept getting hoodwinked by Yellow-rumped Warblers that swooped through their lines of sight. The Canada Warbler merrily hopped its way to a clean escape several times while folks stared at the bushes scratching their heads, waiting for someone to put them back onto the bird. I’m not trying to rag on kindred bird-loving folks with a rewarding hobby, but buy some damn binos already. Decent Bushnells are less than 100$ at Canadian Tire. Rant over.

Reserve Faunique Marguerite-D’Youville, Île Sainte-Bernard, Châteauguay, May 16, 2018
Common Loon-1 off Pointe Nord
Pied-billed Grebe-1 heard
Double-crested Cormorant-4
Great Blue Heron-2
Great Egret-2
Canada Goose-8, including a pair with goslings
Wood Duck-1
Red-breasted Merganser-4
Turkey Vulture-2
Broad-winged Hawk-(1 from the road nearby)
American Kestrel-(1 from the road nearby)
Solitary Sandpiper-1
Spotted Sandpiper-2
Ring-billed Gull-5

Herring Gull-1
Black Tern-27 in a flock over Grande Digue
Common Tern-2 off Pointe Nord
Rock Dove-2
Mourning Dove-1 heard
Chimney Swift-6
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker-1 heard
Downy Woodpecker-4
Hairy Woodpecker-3
Northern Flicker-2
Pileated Woodpecker-1
Least Flycatcher-1 with a confusing amount of yellow wash
Great Crested Flycatcher-3
Eastern Kingbird-3
Warbling Vireo-8
Red-eyed Vireo-2
Blue Jay-2
American Crow-3
Common Raven-2
Cliff Swallow-8
Bank Swallow-3

Barn Swallow-1
Tree Swallow-35+
Purple Martin-4
Black-capped Chickadee-12+
Brown Creeper-2
Tufted Titmouse-4 along the western edge of the island
White-breasted Nuthatch-7
Marsh Wren-2 near Pont Soeur Thérèse-Despins
House Wren-2
Winter Wren-2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet-4
Eastern Bluebird-3
American Robin-14
Gray Catbird-5
European Starling-9
Yellow Warbler-35+ singing everywhere
Chestnut-sided Warbler-1
Magnolia Warbler-1
Cape May Warbler-4
Black-throated Blue Warbler-2
Yellow-rumped Warbler-45+
Blackpoll Warbler-1 at Pointe nord
Bay-breasted Warbler-1
Black-and-white Warbler-1
American Redstart-7
Common Yellowthroat-2
Canada Warbler-2

Wilson's Warbler-1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak-3
Northern Cardinal-4
Savannah Sparrow-1 near the entrance
Song Sparrow-16
Swamp Sparrow-1 
near Pont Soeur Thérèse-Despins
White-crowned Sparrow-1 near the entrance
White-throated Sparrow-2
Baltimore Oriole-6
Red-winged Blackbird-35+
Common Grackle-12+
Brown-headed Cowbird-6
American Goldfinch-7
Purple Finch-2