Cold weather brings good birds

Yesterday was a very wet day indeed (and the start of the long holiday – Journée des patriotes ) and today is unseasonably cold and very windy so great things were not especially anticipated for the novices birding walk that J and I (ably supported by the presence of a couple of experts from BPQ – Wayne and David) were booked to lead in the Arboretum. Nevertheless we were there at 7:00am and had a happy and enthusiastic if somewhat well wrapped up group of 15 people to walk around with.  With some trepidation we set off but finished the day with a splendid 51 species …. list below somewhere …. which included 11 species of warblers, a superb Scarlet Tanager and well over a dozen displaying Bobolinks.  These latter birds were in the two field to the east of the Arboretum boundary, one of which McGill has let to a farmer this year so we hope, but do not expect, that he will hold off damaging the field until summer when the Bobolinks will have had a chance to nest and raise young.  One tree in blossom Corner was, for about 15 minutes, simply ehaving with warblers and the tanager – be in the right place at the right time and birding can be fun !!

Next week the MBO have their annual Baillie Birdathon in the arbo – things are looking good for a high species count.

Pictures first – then the species list – then some gardening commentary – because of the cold weather the large camera was not taken but iot’s amazing what can be achieved with a small one.

Scarlet Tanager

Scarlet Tanager

Black-throated Green Warbler

Black-throated Green Warbler

The 51 species seen were ….

Great Blue Heron, Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Turkey Vulture, Cooper’s Hawk, Ring-billed Gull, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Least Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Kingbird, Tree Swallow, Gray Catbird, American Robin, Black-capped Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, Blue Jay, American Crow, Common Raven, European Starling, Red-eyed Vireo, Tennessee Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Palm Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, American Redstart, Scarlet Tanager, Chipping Sparrow, Song Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, Bobolink, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, Baltimore Oriole, Pine Siskin,American Goldfinch



Family-sized bracket fungi 9with scale)

Family-sized bracket fungi (with scale)

Cold but satisfied birders

Cold but satisfied birders

Meanwhile in the garden burgeoning is happening everywhere –

Lily of the valley

Lily of the valley

really nice tulips - these start white and gradually turn this blush rose colour

Really nice tulips - these start white and gradually turn this blush rose colour


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