1. Nov. 4 Birding Outing - Five local birders braved the chilly morning to join Gérard Desjardins at 8 am on the pier at Norway Bay. An estimated 1500 Canada Geese were spotted along with 50 Mallards, 25 Bufflehead, 15 Common Goldeneye, 90 Ring-billed Gulls and one Common Loon. On land, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 5 American Crows, 10 Black-capped Chickadees, 2 Red-breasted and 1 White-breasted Nuthatch, 30 Juncos, 15 Goldfinch.
Gérard observed 15 Pipits before we arrived at the meeting place and had spotted a Sandhill Crane in the field across from the Bristol Town Hall on his way in. When we looked later, we could only find a Great Blue Heron.
We headed towards Pontiac Station and added 3 Hooded Mergansers and a couple of Hairy Woodpeckers and Blue Jays to the list.
November 10 - I joined up in Quyon with COO's "Excursion to the Mid-West". On their way up from Aylmer, the 6 birders had observed 15 Snow Bunting on chemin Therrien in Luskville and around 100 Redpoll, chemin de la Rivière, Breckenridge. The most notable observations in the Bristol area were approximately 25 American Pipits in the marsh on the Aylmer Road near the town hall. Then, as we looked to the opposite side of the road, we were treated to the site of a Solitary Sandpiper skating (and surely a bit frustrated!) on a frozen pond in the field. And to top it off, above and beyond the Sandpiper, we saw a pair of adult Bald Eagles in coordinated flight and dives. The Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Southern Quebec says "Rapid chases or pursuit flights with the occasional "undulating skydance" help advertise the pair's nesting territory and secure their pair bond." Very cool.
The following day I saw around 150 Snow Bunting in a field beside the Bristol Road.
If anyone would like to borrow my copy of The Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Southern Quebec for a few weeks, just ask.
2. Local Christmas Bird Counts - We have to choose weekdays for our counts as the urban areas get to do theirs on the weekends. Wednesday December 19 is the Quyon/Bristol/Shawville count, Thursday December 27 is the count for Calumet Island/Campbell's Bay/Bryson/Portage and Saturday January 5 is the count for Breckenridge-Dunrobin. There are two ways to take part. One is to do a count at your own birdfeeder. Another way is to volunteer to cover a sector of the region, on foot and by car, recording your observations as you go.
If you think you'd like to volunteer or just want more info, please contact me at 647-2910, firstname.lastname@example.org if you are in the Shawville/Norway Bay sector and Mo Laidlaw at 819-682-5371, email@example.com for the Quyon sector. For Calumet Island, you can contact me or go straight to Gérard Desjardins at firstname.lastname@example.org . For Breckenridge, please contact Garry McNulty at email@example.com
We would really like to increase the local participation for these counts so don't be shy! Mo Laidlaw has prepared a couple of pages to help you identify the birds mostly likely to be at your feeder if you're not entirely confident in your birding skills (see http://www.heritagepontiac.ca/Birds )
3. Cheap! 3 lightly water-damaged copies of Guide to Bird Watching Sites of the Outaouais, $5 each. I also have a few non-damaged ones for $15. The frequency Chart of the Birds of the Outaouais, included in the guide, is a useful tool even if you'rre not planning a birding tour of the Outaouais.
4. Other birding activities. I won't go into any detail here but you might want to check out Project Feeder Watch www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/and the Avicourse hivernale en Outaouais http://coo.ncf.ca/activites/activites.php
5. Follow-up to Gérard's "Birding 101" evening...?
One participant suggested a session on raptor and waterfowl identification. Any interest? Any other suggestions?