13 people participated in Saturday’s field trip to Ste-Martine, St-Etienne-de-Beauharnois and St-Timothee. The weather was very pleasant with a mix of sun and cloud, and mild with low humidity. All three locations produced a good selection of birds. The water level at Ste-Martine has dropped considerably, exposing a lot of rocks and vegetation; nice habitat for some shorebirds, ducks, terns, gulls and a very active Osprey. We took a long stroll along the bicycle path leading to one of the large ponds at St-Etienne. The fields leading to the pond produced large numbers of swallows, plus sparrows, bobolinks and even a few horned larks. In fact, for those who have commented on the low number of swallows this year, a visit to St-Etienne would help to comfort your concerns. Our last stop at St-Timothee provided one of the highlights of the day; brief sightings of no less than 3 Least Bitterns. However, St-Timothee also produced some of the puzzles of the day as we discovered a number of ducklings. Unfortunately we were confused as to exactly which species of ducklings we were observing. We weren’t sure which duckings belonged to which parent birds! Very confusing.
All in all though, a nice mild summer day of birding with a nice collection of 56 species. A little depressing to see several very large flocks of red-winged blackbirds and starlings beginning their pre-fall migration activities…and it’s not even August yet!