Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Birding near our cottage on Grand Lac des Cèdres

May 8, 2011

We had a brief visit from a Rose-breasted Grosbeak at our main feeder.

We went to the creek at Ch St. Jacques and BlueSea Lake, which has been productive in the past. I immediately realized that I should have packed the speakers for my bird calls, to be more effective. Nevertheless, we saw several Yellow-rumped Warblers, Song Sparrows and Blue Jays, and heard an American Bittern call several times. We also heard a White-throated Sparrow.
We walked up and down the road searching for the American Bittern, while listening to Spring Peepers calling.  We finally gave up, and moved on to the next area on Ch. Gallipeau.  Near the corner of Ch de la Montagne and Ch Gallipeau, we saw a Turkey Vulture on the ground by the side of the road with some carrion.  Using the car as a shield, we were able to get quite close.
We turned down Ch. Gallipeau and drove slowly along.  Suddenly I spotted another American Bittern standing in the marsh about 50 feet away.  We shot some photos out of the open window, then I got out slowly and got some more before it ducked down out of sight.  We never saw it again, even though it did no fly out.
The only other birds to be seen were Tree Swallows.  As we drove back towards the cottage, I joked that we should check for Bluebirds at Arsenault's.  But it was no joke, the pair was there!  We could hear an Eastern phoebe calling, and Barbara spotted a Northern Flicker on the lawn across the street.
Back at the cottage, we saw another Eastern Phoebe and both Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers.  I went for a spin in the boat and saw three Common Loons, two small ducks flying past low, which looked like female Buffleheads, and an unusually high number of Ring-billed Gulls.   While I was out, Barbara got both male and female Purple Finches at the feeder.
Barbara suggested we try the tail around the perimeter of the cottage, starting in the low swamp area.  Soon we got onto several more Yellow-rumped Warblers and heard Northern Parulas singing.  Barbara returned to get my binoculars and we did see several Northern Parulas and more Yellow-rumped Warblers.

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