“Des oiseaux et des mouches”

In 2013, BPQ sponsored one of the backwoods survey teams for the Quebec Breeding Bird Atlas and recently the atlassers gave a fascinating talk to members of BPQ. A member of that team has now published a book describing their experiences … here is an extract that we think you will enjoy. We recommend that you read the entire book – details of how to obtain a copy are in the graphic below:

ois-mouch-apr2014

 

 

24 juin

Lever à 4 h. Déjeuner sur le pouce et départ vers le lac Rondin, à 30 km au sud.

Arrivée à 6 h 30. Séance d’observation pendant la matinée, beau temps, pas beaucoup d’insectes. Dans la caisse du camion, je retrouve les clés perdues la veille à Wemotaci; à la prochaine occasion, il faudra les renvoyer par la poste.

À midi, nouveau départ vers la pourvoirie Kanawata où nous dînons. Nous entamons la conversation avec quelques clients qui nous questionnent sur notre travail. Comme d’autres gens que nous avons rencontrés jusqu’ici, ils croient pertinent de nous préciser que cet été, il y a plus de mouches noires et de maringouins que l’année dernière et que toutes les autres années auparavant. Je préfère ne pas contredire ces connaisseurs du milieu naturel mais après avoir fait de longs séjours en forêt pendant de nombreux étés, j’ai remarqué qu’on me répétait toujours le même commentaire depuis des lustres, ce qui me laisse de plus en plus sceptique.

Une dame me raconte qu’à son chalet, les corneilles font du bruit et la dérangent, et elle me demande à quoi elles peuvent bien servir. Quelque peu surpris par une telle question, je lui réponds qu’elles ne servent à rien, mais qu’elles sont très intelligentes. Et je m’embrouille dans une diatribe sur la mentalité de nos contemporains qui n’ont qu’une vision utilitaire de la nature et qui, si on les laisse faire, vont finir par en exploiter toutes les ressources jusqu’à les épuiser. Et puis les corneilles se sont-elles déjà demandé à quoi servaient les humains? La brave dame a dû me prendre pour un illuminé issu d’une secte de fanatiques coupée de la civilisation depuis beaucoup trop longtemps.

À la télévision, on retransmet un grand spectacle de variétés en plein air où se produisent des artistes québécois très connus. Tout à coup… révélation! Nous venons de comprendre que c’est le spectacle de la Saint-Jean-Baptiste, la fête nationale des Québécois qui tombe aujourd’hui! Maintenant la dame de tout à l’heure doit être convaincue que nous venons d’une autre planète.

Après-midi, départ vers le lac Charron, à une cinquantaine de kilomètres au sud-ouest. On dirait qu’il y a moins de mouches noires que d’habitude.

Le soir, elles contre-attaquent, et cette fois-ci elles sont accompagnées de frappe-à-bord; ces taons de taille respectable ont appris à se poser sur la peau sans qu’on les remarque, mais ils infligent des piqûres douloureuses. De temps en temps, un petit coup de vent nous apporte tout de même un répit.

Coucher à 19 h 30, pour tenter d’échapper à ces monstres assoiffés de sang. J’essaie de chasser les mouches qui se trouvent à l’intérieur de ma tente, mais il en reste toujours quelques dizaines; heureusement, au lieu de s’attaquer à moi, fidèles à leur habitude, elles sont encore irrésistiblement attirées par la toile sur laquelle elles se cognent à tour de rôle en imitant la pluie. Cette fois-ci, je bénéficie aussi de la compagnie de quelques fourmis.

Il y a d’énormes nuages. Vers minuit, pour marquer la soirée de la Saint-Jean-Baptiste, dame Nature nous gratifie d’un spectacle son et lumière à grand déploiement : nous sommes réveillés par un énorme orage, les éclairs illuminent le ciel sans arrêt et on entend des coups de tonnerre dans toutes les directions. En pleine nature, rien ne vaut un bon orage pour nous faire ressentir notre isolement.

Field Trip Report – Saturday, March 22, 2014

8 birders paid no attention to the doom and gloom of the weather report yesterday morning (in fact two of them had no idea at all that snow was being forecast!) and headed out to Fort Chambly for this weeks (spring!) field trip.

With very slippery conditions around the fort grounds we were able to make it to the waterfront and get some great observations of the ducks and gulls in the rapids and on the ice flows. That was all, of course, before the snow began to fall, and quite heavily, by around 9:30 or so. As a result we decided against heading down along the Richelieu River towards St-Jean, particularly given the very limited visibility. We did however head over to the wooded areas on Ile-Goyer, just a few minutes away from Chambly.

Thanks to those who came out to enjoy the 14 species seen for the day. They were:

1 Canada Goose
6 Am. Black Ducks
100+ Mallards
12 Common Goldeneye
12 Common Mergansers
40 Ring-billed Gull
30 Rock Pigeons
2 Mourning Dove
2 Blue Jays
14 American Crows
20 European Starling
3 Northern Cardinal
6 American Goldfinch
8 House Sparrow

Field trip report – 15 March

4 birders made it to the Boisé-Ste-Dorothée. Despite the bad weather forecast, the morning was quite enjoyable with mild temperatures and just a little rain. The sun even came out at about 10. The wind picked up by mid morning, especially by the river, announcing the cold front coming back tonight.

We first visited the Boisé Ste Dorothée and feeders closeby where we in partcular enjoyed a nice group of cedar wawxwings, a white-crowned sparrow (our first of the year) and the singing house finches.

We then visited the barrage du grand moulin and the Laval marina. Waterfowl was scarce except for mallards and American black ducks. An almost entirely white ‘mallard’ (except for the head and tail) was an intriguing find in the large group of ducks.

In total, 23 species were observed (lists available on ebird)

Thanks for those who joined for this enjoyable morning

Frédéric Hareau

 

 

Report – Arboretum field trip 8 March

28 birders, 25 species. Light snow and about -3 when we set out but temp. rose to 0 and sun came out at the end. We divided into two groups, the other ably led by David Mulhulland and Wayne Grubert.

Although some of the species may appear to be migrants, I am pretty sure they were all individuals that overwintered here.

Cooper’s Hawk - Great Black-backed Gull - Rock Pigeon - Mourning Dove - Barred Owl (seen by one group only) - Red-bellied Woodpecker (a pair) - Downy Woodpecker - Hairy Woodpecker - Pileated Woodpecker - Blue Jay - American Crow - Black-capped Chickadee - Tufted Titmouse - Red-breasted Nuthatch - White-breasted Nuthatch - Brown Creeper - American Robin - European Starling - Cedar Waxwing - American Tree Sparrow - Dark-eyed Junco - Northern Cardinal - Red-winged Blackbird - House Finch - American Goldfinch

Report – Hudson Field Trip, March 1, 2014

Hudson Field Trip, March 1, 2014, cloudy, -15 with a cold east wind

Five birders braved the cold weather and were rewarded with sightings of 100+ Cedar waxwings and 10+ American robins feeding on Buckthorn berries.

The colours on both species were rich, bright yellow on the waxwings and rusty red on the robins, which made for satisfying observations.

We ended the trip early as hands and feet were quickly freezing.

Thanks to those who came out for a short but pleasant walk in the woods.

Here is our complete list of birds:

  • Downy woodpecker 2
  • Hairy woodpecker 2
  • Blue jay 1
  • American crow 6
  • Black-capped chickadee 4
  • White-breasted nuthatch 2
  • American robin 12+
  • Cedar waxwing 100+
  • American goldfinch 3

Barbara MacDuff and Wayne Grubert

BREEDING BIRD ATLAS IN REMOTE AREAS : A TALE !

BREEDING BIRD ATLAS IN REMOTE AREAS : A TALE !

Hugues Brunoni, member of “Team BPQ 2013 “B9F729D4-DF7C-4BB4-A80E-9409AB3A5509@tr.cgocable.ca

Monday 10 March at 19:30

In 2013, BPQ sponsored a back-country survey team for the Quebec Breeding Bird Atlas – we are dping so again in 2014.

Hugues, who was part of “our” team, tells us that his presentation will describe his experience volunteering as an ” atlasser ” for three summers in the vast boreal forest of the Quebec wilderness , sleeping under a tent, getting up at 3:30 a.m. 7 days a week, suffering black flies, driving trucks, ATVs and bikes in rough terrain. The aim was to cover as many atlas squares as possible with a fistful of teams each covering a remote area. He was the regional coordinator for the Mauricie region and hopes to convince BPQ members to take part in collecting data for the BBA .

The second part of his lecture will use the atlas data collected so far to show changes in bird distribution that have taken place since the publication of the first Atlas . Some new species have appeared on the Quebec map over the past 25 years and others have disappeared.

Hugues is an historian from Trois-Rivieres, a former editor-in-chief of the QuebecOiseaux magazine and still a regular contributer to its pages . He has been an active administrator of the Regroupment QuebecOiseaux and on the board of various commitees of this organization. He was also involved with the establishment of the Refuge Faunique du Lac Sainte-Pierre .

Cheque payments to BPQ – IMPORTANT

Please note that all cheques payable to Bird Protection Quebec should be made out in that name or to “La société québécoise de protection des oiseaux, Inc.”

This applies to ALL membership fees, donations etc. Cheques made out to “PQSPB”, “SQPO”, “BPQ”, “POQ” etc will be difficult for me to clear through our new bank account.

Many thanks,
Jean Harwood Gregson, Treasurer Bird Protection Quebec

Hunting Snowy Owls – field trip 30 November

Saturday, November 30 – samedi 30 novembre

Tracking down early Snowy Owls

Guide: Sheldon Harvey   450-462-1459   ve2shw@yahoo.com

Snowy Owls and other winter birds have begun showing up in different area around the Montreal region. For this Saturday’s spontaneous destination, we are going to attempt to track down some of these birds around the South Shore areas of St-Hubert, St-Bruno, Varennes, etc. Although cold weather is forecast, conditions should be good. This will predominantly be a driving trip. We will be looking for Snowy Owls (already seen at St-Hubert Airport & Varennes, Rough-legged Hawks, Snow Buntings, and whatever else we can stumble across.

To facilitate matters, we will meet at a spot familiar to most of you have participated in some of our previous South Shore outings. This is Parc de la Frayere, on boul. Marie Victorin in Boucherville, on the St-Lawrence River. After quickly exploring that parc, particularly its waterfront, we will head out on the road trip taking us through parts of Boucherville, Varennes, St-Bruno and finally to the airport in St-Hubert.

STARTING POINT: Parc de la Frayere, boul. Marie-Victorin, Boucherville, Quebec, in the parking lot.

TIME: 8 AM – Half day trip

DRIVING DIRECTIONS: The park is a little less than 30 minutes from the South Shore side of the Champlain Bridge. From Montreal, take the Champlain Bridge, to the first exit off the bridge. Follow Highway 20/Highway 132 EAST, heading towards Varennes/Longueuil). Continue east on Highway 20/132. Note that Highways 20 and 132 split at exit for Quebec City & Hippolyte-Lafontaine Tunnel. Stay to the left at this exit, continuing east on Highway 132. Continue past the exits for de Montarville, de Montbrun and chemin du General Vanier. The next traffic lights will be at Boul. de la Marine/Boul. Lionel Boulet (Highway 229). Turn left at the traffic lights on to Boul. de la Marine, heading north towards the waterfront. Continue north, cross the railway tracks and turn left at the traffic lights at the corner of boul. Marie Victorin. Continue on boul. Marie Victorin, past the hydro pylons. You will see an entrance road into the parking lot for the Parc de la Frayere on your right.

NOTE: Because there are reduce lanes available on Champlain Bridge, HIGHWAY 132 East can also be accessed from any of the other bridges to the South Shore (Mercier, Victoria, Jacques-Cartier, or the Lafontaine Tunnel, as well as the new Highway 30 bridge at Vaudreuil-Dorion.) Once on Highway 132 east, route instructions above apply.

Dress warmly! We will be in some wide open areas so wind and cold will be a factor. We will work in a pit stop, or two, throughout the trip. Carpooling is recommended on these types of trips, plus if you have two-way radios, bring them along, tuned to channel 11, for inter-vehicle communications. If you have any questions, please contact me at 450-462-1459, or on Saturday morning at 514-637-2141.