Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Monday, July 6 2009

Pamela had a 7 pm flight to Saskatoon, so we spent several hours on the Quebec side.

We first drove to Marais des Laîches Quest and found a very good road after we got past the bumpy part in front of the houses. There were lots of sparrows on the road in, none perched for any length of time. When we reached the parking area, we could find no path that didn’t get very wet. We concluded that we would see nothing here, although we could hear some tantalizing calls. So we moved on a short way to Marais des Laîches Est, and here we had better luck. We saw a number of Bobolinks on the road in as well as many Grasshopper Sparrows. The road was less good, with some serious potholes.
From the parking area, we were able to follow a trail along a ridge between ponds. There were lots of Black Terns, none perched, but we spotted a very cooperative Green Heron and a Great Blue Heron fly past. We walked all the way to the river without seeing much else, although we could hear Coots calling. We moved again down the road to Marais des Grenouillettes. We went slowly along the very bumpy road, being harassed by two guys in a Jeep. They were looking for all the worst bumps and puddles for their off-road experience. They even went down our trail, but turned back before spoiling the whole thing.
We crept slowly along the trail and saw a pair of American Coots briefly in the distance. We flushed a mother Mallard and her large ducklings. There were a number of Eastern Kingbirds and a belted Kingfisher kept jumping ahead of us.
We saw a Northern Harrier being harassed by a smaller bird. We almost tripped over a fairly large moss-covered Snapping Turtle, which I at first thought was a dead Muskrat. By the river, we saw an American Goldfinch and three Common Moorhen, which we scoped briefly. I heard a Pied-billed Grebe and a Least Bittern calling. We packed it in and drove to Masson, where the ferry was waiting for us. We crossed over to Cumberland and headed for Petrie Island for a late lunch. There was nothing much doing there – no Map Turtles, only a few Painted.

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