28 April 2006

Far off birds

There have been few garden posts recently as we have been away in SE Arizona (the Chriacahua Mountains - Cave Creek Canyon) gathering 103 species of birds which included 55 lifers ...... we Quebecois don't get out west much. There is little chance of posting much here about the trip for a while as there are almost 1000 photographs to process digitally before I can do so but as a taster of goodies to come here is the first Elegant Trogon to enter the US from Mexico this season. It was in the North Fork of the canyon busily looking for territory:

Other great birds seen, included :

Vermillion Flycatcher

Say's Phoebe

Black-throated Sparrow

Black-throated Gray Warbler

.......... and many, many more.

Meanwhile it's good to be back in Montreal with the sun shining, the flowers and leaves starting to appear and the spring migration still, despite early arrivals, ahead of us.

11 April 2006

Feederwatch ends - on to pastures new

This weekend past was the end of the Feederwatch season for the year - a very satisfying 19 species for the weekend, a round 20 if the White-breasted Nuthatch had turned up (of course he/she did the next day).

Up the road the bird reports from the Arboretum are beginning to heat up with plenty of returning regulars being seen in the last few days. This time of year as migration starts is always exciting.

On Friday, birding takes on a new dimension - we are off for a few days to the Chiracahua Mountains in south-eastern Arizona to stay in the famous Cave Creek Canyon and look for Flammulated Owls, Montezuma Quails and, the holy grail for birders, the Elegant Trogon. Fingers well and truly crossed, this should be fun.

02 April 2006

Big Birds

This morning was spent away from the garden and on some trails up to the summit of Mont-St-Gregoire, which is an "igneous intrusion" sticking up from the flatlands of the St-Lawrence valley south and east of Montreal. Birds of the day were a low-circling male adult Goshawk overhead as we ascended and on the summit the chance to look down on four soaring Turkey Vultures. The other good birds, out of a day list of 23 species, were a number of Ravens.

Nice to get out in the sunshine.

01 April 2006

Sparrow movement

The Song Sparrows started to visit a few days ago and this morning the first pair of Chipping Sparrows put in a brief appearance stuffing down fallen seeds on the ground below the Grackle-feeder. In the nearby Morgan Arboretum there have been reports in the last few days of Killdeer, pairing Red-shouldered Hawks, Kinglets and a numbr of other new returnees. Every day sees skeins of Canada Geese and Snow Geese overhead. There are weeks of migration to go, but it's underway ...... and a bit earlier than last year too.