Québec: Fall 2016

The Fall 2016, 1 August – November 30

Pierre Bannon
235 de Vimy, app. 2
Saint-Bruno de Montarville, Qc J3V 6G9

Olivier Barden
2942 rue de l’Aubier
Québec, Québec G1M 3V1

Normand David
202-53 Hasting
Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Québec H9G 3C4

Samuel Denault
1991 rue Saint-Zotique Est
Montréal, Québec H2G 1J2

Recommended citation:

Bannon, P., Barden, O., Normand, D., & Denault, S. 2020. The Fall 2016: Québec. <https://wp.me/p8iY2g-8Io> North American Birds.

Above normal temperatures persisted for the entire period. August was the warmest in 70 years in southern Québec. Warm and dry conditions continued well into September, resulting in very low water levels along the north shore of Lake Champlain (Missisquoi Bay), thus creating excellent shorebird habitat. A variety of 23 different species with peaks of 600 individuals were found in August and September. October was cooler but remained slightly above normal. November was 2°C to 3°C above normal in the south. Rarities included 2 Common Shelducks, a Clapper Rail, 2 Common Ringed Plovers, a Rufous Hummingbird, a Western Wood-Pewee, and a Black-headed Grosbeak.

Contributors (subregional editors in boldface)

Alexandre Anctil, Claude Auchu, Pierre Bannon (Montréal), Olivier Barden, Jean-Pierre Barry, Marie-Lise Beaudin, Georgette Blanchette, Christophe Buidin, Johanne Charette, Albini Couture, Alain Daigle, Samuel Denault, Réjean Deschênes, Guy Gendron, Christiane Girard, Louis Imbeau (Abitibi-Témiscamingue), Raymond Ladurantaye, Jean-Michel Lagueux-Tremblay, Jacques Larivée (Lower-St. Lawrence), G. Lord (Québec City), Josée Normandeau, Pierre Poulin (Gaspésie), Maurice Raymond, Alain Richard (Magdalen Is), Yan Rochepault, Claude Roy (Arthabaska), Jesse Roy-Drainville, Germain Savard (Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean), Claudia Siano, Daniel Toussaint (Outaouais).

Geese through Herons

From two in fall 2015, the number of Pink-footed Goose records jumped to 7 this fall, at Sainte-Flavie 28 Sep.-4 Oct. (J. Roy, m.ob.), Bonaventure 3-12 Oct. (JC, m. ob.), Saint-Prime 3-4 Oct. (J. Rousseau, C. Bellemare), Fermont 16 Oct. (M. Plante), La Rédemption 28 Oct. (G. Michaud), Pointe-aux-Anglais 13 Nov. (L. Simard, J. May), and Métabetchouan 18-19 Nov., a Regional record late date (R. Bouchard). There are now 34 records since 1988, but this season was the best ever for the species. A high count of 13 adult Greater White-fronted Geese  was noteworthy for Laval 10-18 Nov. (S. Guertin, M. Boisvert, m. ob.). Following a total count of a dozen Barnacle Geese in fall 2015, only one was reported this fall, at Ile aux Basques 8 Oct. (J.N, fide M.R). The group of 4 or 5 Mute Swans present near Neuville last summer was later relocated near Sainte-Angèle-de-Laval until 22 Oct. (m. ob.). Up to 9 Trumpeter Swans, including 2 juvenile were present 16 Oct. at Val d’Or (CS, RL). The family group of 4 remained there until at least 21 Nov.  A count of 18 Tundra Swans was remarkable at Ville-Marie 4 Nov. (J. Fréchette). An adult male Common Shelduck  that looked quite wary brightened Sainte-Flavie 10-12 Aug (S. Blais, ph.) while another, possibly an immature male graced Rivière-Brochu 29 Nov.-8 Dec. (M. Vanasse, m.ob., ph.).

These 2 birds are considered good candidates as genuine stragglers from Europe. A first winter male King Eider  stopped inland at the Mascouche sewage lagoon 17-26 Nov. (Y. Gauthier, m.ob.) while a first winter female was a good find at Amos 23-26 Nov. (RL, m.ob., ph.). A group of 4 females at Tadoussac 24 Nov. was also noteworthy (OB). A Common Eider was located at Chambly 1st Oct. (S. Vanier, D. Ouellette), while 17 birds at Victoriaville 24-26 Nov. (JC, AD) and 175 on Lake Mégantic 30 Nov. (C. Poulin et al.) provided high counts to the west of their migration corridor. A remarkable concentration of 1500 Willow Ptarmigans turned up at LG-3 dam 21 Nov. (H. Deglaire et al.).

Single Pacific Loons were discovered at Pointe-des-Monts 4 Sep. (D. Saint-Laurent) and at Ile aux Basques 8 Oct. (JN, fide M.R). An Eared Grebe was nicely photographed at Lake Roxton 6 Oct., furnishing a Regional record late date (B. Duhamel). One Aechmophorus Grebe was reported at Les Escoumins 13 Sep. (R. & F. Dion), and possibly the same again 19 Oct. (JG. Beaulieu) while 2 (most probably Western Grebes) were an exciting find at Victoriaville 23 Oct. (M. Forget, J.C, AD, J. Ducharme). A single group of 15 Manx Shearwaters was notable in the estuary some 15 km off Grosses-Roches 30 Aug. (L. Fradette, R. Roy). An immature Northern Gannet was found exhausted on a bicycle path at Morin Heights in the Laurentides region 3 Nov. and brought to a bird rehabilitation center (P. Kosiuk et al., ph.). American White Pelicans are increasingly reported in the Region, at Yamachiche 9-18 Aug. (Y. Dugré et al.), Chibougamau 20 Aug. (fide A.A), Les Bergeronnes 30 Aug. (SD), Montmagny 2 Sep. (G. Garant), Cacouna 3-11 Sep. (L. Bélanger, m.ob.), Anse-au-Persil 10 Sep. (F. L’Hérault), and Saint-Malo (Estrie) 13 Sep. (M. Lauzière et al.).

A notably late Snowy Egret  was at Rivière Madeleine 7 Nov. (GB). Percé hosted a juvenile Little Blue Heron 13 Aug-3 Sep. (.C, Y. Cyr). Two Cattle Egrets appeared at Métabetchouan-Lac-à-la-Croix 16-17 Oct. (C. Lussier); one remained until 14 Nov. when it was brought to the Saint-Félicien Zoological Gardens in weakening conditions (m. ob.). Singles were also spotted at Rivière-Madeleine 27-29 Oct. (GB), Val d’Or 14 Nov. (B. Major, RL, CS), Poularies 16 Nov. (S. Gagnon) and Bécancour 20-22 Nov. (L. Grenon, m.ob.).

Vultures through Jaegers

Single Black Vultures showed up at Cap-des-Rosiers 6 Aug (L. Sainte-Croix), Gaspé 14-16 Aug (J. Brousseau, D. Jalbert, A. Gagnon), L’Anse-à-Beaufils 2 Sep. (JM. Smith), and at Tadoussac 27 Aug (OB). An immature light-morph Swainson’s Hawk was a good find at Saint-Valérien 19 Aug (P. Fradette, JR-D, GG).

A Clapper Rail  at Barachois 9 Oct. (JF. Rousseau, m.ob., ph.) provided the second record for the Region, both of them in Gaspésie. A high count of 4000 Sandhill Cranes at Nédélec 5 Oct. was noteworthy (N. Saint-Amant). The most amazing find of the season was the appearance of two Common Ringed Plovers: an adult at Pointe Yamachiche 17-18 Aug (JC & A. Charrette, m.ob., ph.) and a juvenile in Missisquoi Bay (Saint-Armand) 10-14 Sep., a Regional record late date (G. & R. Boulet, m.ob., ph.). These two birds furnished the 4th and 5th records for the Region. Single Marbled Godwits  turned up at Les Escoumins 25 Aug. (JG. Beaulieu) and at Rimouski 2 Sep. (GG). A juvenile Western Sandpiper reported in Missisquoi Bay 9 Sep. (M. Resch, C. Caron, R. Boyer) was relocated 14 Sep. (JML-T et al.) and photographed by many until 21 Sep. A late Buff-breasted Sandpiper on Niapiskau Is, near Mingan 9 Oct. was notable (YR, CB). It was also a good season for the Long-billed Dowitcher; one at Havre-aux-Basques (Magdalen Is.) 13 Nov. was notably late (AR). Always unpredictable inland, a Red Phalarope was sighted at Boucherville 1-2 Nov. (J. Hénault, m. ob.).

Single juvenile Sabine’s Gulls stopped at the Beauharnois dam 27 Aug.-3 Sep. (JM. Béliveau, m.ob.), at Châteauguay 30 Sep. (P. Bergeron), at Saint-Simon-sur-mer 25 Oct. (R.D) while a rare adult in alternate plumage was encountered at Lévis 26 Oct. (R. Gingras, J. Forgues). Single juvenile Forster’s Terns were detected at Sainte-Catherine 13-19 Sep. (R. Belhumeur, m.ob., ph.) and at Saint-Armand 5-7 Oct. (JP. Santerre, m.ob.). The presence of single Long-tailed Jaegers at Saint-Vallier 27 Aug. (G. Lord et al.) and 22 Sep. (G. Cyr) was overshadowed by a staggering 18 at Rivière-Ouelle 20 Aug. (CA, CG).

Doves through Solitaire

Single Eurasian Collared-Doves included  one in Saint-Édouard-de- Lotbinière 7-20 Aug. (m. ob.) and one at Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu 28 Nov. (J. Gaboriau). An adult male Rufous Hummingbird at Chapais 8-15 Aug. (S. Bélanger, A.A) provided a 9th confirmed record for the Region. The adult Red-headed Woodpecker found in Jul. at Howick was last seen 8 Aug. (m. ob.) while others were found at  at Saint-Fabien-sur-mer 7-10 Sep. (C. Desrosiers) and Stoneham 29 Sep. (S. Dubord).

A late flycatcher wound up in the mist nets at Cap Tourmente 1 Oct., prompting bander PA. Dumas and scribe JML-T to carefully double-check all measurements entered in a formula, putting this squarely in the Western Wood-Pewee camp, a potential first documented record for the Region. In the afternoon following release, it was refound and heard singing (J. Bernier, m.ob.), indeed validating the in-hand verdict.

A Western Kingbird at Pointe-aux-Outardes 23 Sep. was the only one found this season (E. Brotherton, fide JP.B). A White-eyed Vireo at Saint-Donat-de-Montcalm 2 Nov. (P. Martin, ph) was the first ever record for Lanaudière. Two unidentified swallows seen at Ile Sainte-Bernard (Châteauguay) 10 Nov. (MLB, S. Cardinal) were positively identified as Cave Swallows the next day (PB, S. Labbé, CS, RL et al.), and photographed by many until 14 Nov. There was a notable White-breasted Nuthatch dispersion northward into the Abitibi, Lac-Saint-Jean, and North Shore regions in Oct. and Nov. The northernmost bird, most likely ever, reached Chibougamau 24 Oct.-26 Nov. (AA, HM. Johansen). A family group of 4 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers at Saint-Armand can now be considered as a noteworthy breeding confirmation (RD, A. Fouillet) while a late bird was found at Châteauguay 15 Nov. (MLB).

Northern Wheatear sightings this fall were restricted to the St.Lawrence estuary with singles at Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan 13 Sep. (R. Oswald), Havre-Saint-Pierre 28 Sep.-2 Oct. (YR), Rimouski 29 Sep. (L. Saint-Laurent, M. Beaulieu, m. ob.), and Tadoussac 25 Oct. (OB). Annual but unpredictable, Townsend’s Solitaires were found at Jonquière 1-10 Nov. (R. Lapointe),  Bic 7 Nov. (D. Roy, fide G. Bouchard),  Pointe-Saint-Pierre 7 Nov. (L. Lagueux, J. Wiseman, J. Moore) and  Saint-Zénon-du-Lac-Humqui 11 Nov. (CA. Turcotte).

Warblers through Crossbills

A Prairie Warbler turned up at Baie-Comeau 28 Oct. (JPB). A Yellow-breasted Chat at Pabos 13 Oct. was an expected fall vagrant in the Gaspé Pen. (PP, G. Roy). Lark Sparrows were well represented again this season with singles at Grande-Rivière 20 Aug. (M. Thibault), Grandes- Bergeronnes 17 Sep. (M.R, P.Lane), Tadoussac 22 Sep. (OB et al.), Pointe-des-Monts 26 Sep. (MA. Montpetit, R. Prénovost), and Sainte-Thérèse-de-Gaspé 20-22 Oct. and 17-27 Nov. (AC). As many as seven  Summer Tanagers  appeared over a short period of 13 days in Nov.: an immature at Montmagny 5 Nov. (L. Lamontagne, Y. Bernier), an immature at Mont-Laurier 6 Nov. (R. Le Brun), an adult male at Gaspé 7-12 Nov. (D. Le Blanc, m.ob.), an adult male at Sorel-Tracy 8-9 Nov. (M. Lafrenière, R. Charbonneau, ph.), an immature at Victoriaville 9-15 Nov. (C. Roy, m. ob., ph.), an adult male at Rivière Magpie 15-24 Nov. (CB, YR, ph.), and an immature at Pointe-aux-Trembles (Montréal) 18 Nov. (A. Doyon). A Black-headed Grosbeak at Tadoussac 15-24 Oct. (G. Pelletier, m.ob., ph.) was the 8th record since 1989 and was exactly at the same location as the last one in 2013. Yellow-headed Blackbirds were also well in evidence with six records including a female at Rimouski 9 Sep. (S. Gauthier, JR-D, m. ob.), an immature male at Beauport 22 Sep.-1st Oct. (G. Garant et al.), a female at Baie-Comeau 24 Sep. (JPB), a male at Port-Menier 1st Oct. (G. Laprise), a male at Mont-Joli 20 Oct. (DJ. Léandri-Breton), and an adult male at La Pocatière 22 Oct. (CA, CG).

A record flight of over 13,870 Pine Grosbeak was recorded at Tadoussac mostly between late Oct. and mid-Nov., including over 5,285 indivuals on 25 Oct.(OB). A record high number of 125 Red Crossbills (from the type 10 ecotype) was also recorded at Tadoussac 13 Nov. (OB), where a total of 362 individuals were tallied for the season.

Photos–Québec: Fall 2016
Hover or click on each image to read the caption.