Québec: Fall 2018

Fall 2018: 1 Aug–30 Nov

Samuel Denault

Pierre Bannon

Normand David

Olivier Barden

Recommended citation:

Denault, S., P. Bannon, N. David, and O. Barden. 2021. Fall 2018: Quebec. <https://wp.me/p8iY2g-a1N> North American Birds.

Continuing the same weather pattern that prevailed since late June, August and September were both very hot months. This trend ended abruptly in late September, giving way to very cool temperatures in October and November. Snow covered the ground as early as mid-November in Montréal. The most remarkable rarities of the season were a Broad-billed Hummingbird and a Roseate Spoonbill, both new species for the region. Another unexpected species was a Magnificent Frigatebird, only the second for the region.

Ducks through Hummingbirds

A Black-bellied Whistling-Duck continued at Parc Nature Pointe-aux-Prairies (Montréal) until 14 Aug, but then reappeared 21 Oct–4 Nov, providing a regional record late date for this species (Y. Gauthier, m.ob.). Single Mute Swans visited Drummondville 1–7 Aug (F. Bourret) at four localities, all located near the east end of Montréal 22 Aug–22 Sep (m. ob.). The two Trumpeter Swans that summered at Saint-Fulgence (Saguenay) remained there until 21 Oct (C. Cormier, G. Savard), while two others appeared briefly at Adstock 25–26 Oct (A. Girard, A. Gagné, G. Châteauneuf). Now rare in the province, up to 10 Canvasbacks were at Laval 20–29 Oct (G. Lachaine et al), and three at Candiac 8–11 Nov (m.ob.). A Harlequin Duck paused at LaSalle (Montréal) 22 Nov (J.M. Lacoste). A White-winged Dove stopped at Pointe-aux-Outardes 21 Sep (E. Hains, E. Brotherton). An imm male Rufous Hummingbird was nicely photographed at Saint-Roch-des-Aulnaies 3 Sep, providing a ninth record for the province (C. Auchu, C. Girard). The most spectacular find of the season was a male Broad-billed Hummingbird that visited a feeder at a private residence at Saint-Lambert-de-Lauzon 18–29 Sep, a first record for the province (J. Pedneau, m.ob.). Surprisingly, it was later discovered that the bird had moved to another residence only 200 meters away, where it was picked up dead 22 Nov after a very cold night (fide G. Lord).

Gallinules through Vultures

Single imm Purple Gallinules were photographed at Oujé-Bougoumou (James Bay) 17 Oct (K. Lamarche) and at Chandler 8 Nov (G. Roy, P. Poulin). Single Marbled Godwits stopped at Philipsburg 30 Aug (G. Éthier) and at Tadoussac 7–14 Sep (M. Hornstein). Buff-breasted Sandpipers were almost unreported this fall. A juv Western Sandpiper was described at Portneuf-sur-Mer 17 Aug (A. Desrochers). Only two Long-billed Dowitchers were found this fall: Saint-Lazare 14–16 Sep (D. Collins), and Yamachiche 1–2 Oct (S. Blackburn, S. Lemieux). A Willet at Pointe-aux-Outardes was noteworthy 26 Aug–1 Sep (E. Brotherton, E. Hains). Pacific Loons were reported as follows: one at Pointe-au-Père 19 Sep (R. Deschesnes et al), two at Grande-Rivière 23 Sep (D. Jalbert et al), and one at Lévis 6 Oct (G. Lemelin).

An adult female Magnificent Frigatebird, only the second for the province, was spotted from a fishing boat 16 Sep about 30 km west of Cap-aux-Meules (Les Îles-de- la-Madeleine) (ph., JF. Rousseau, M. Dufour). Only one American White Pelican appeared at Berthier-sur-Mer 30 Aug (C. Deschênes). A surprising “white-morph” or leucistic Great Blue Heron was photographed at Melbourne (Estrie) 27 Sep (C. Lahaye, M. Cloutier). Only two Cattle Egrets were reported this fall: at Saint-Ferdinand 30 Oct–7 Nov (B. Lemay et al), and at Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue 2 Nov (E. Brisson-Curadeau). A juv Glossy Ibis was reported at Val Bélair (Québec City) 18 Aug (P. Lane, M. Raymond). An imm Roseate Spoonbill was nicely photographed during its very brief stay at Saint-Martin-de-Beauce 7 Aug, a first record for the province (D. & J.D. Morin). Single Black Vultures were seen at Saint-Hyacinthe 17 Sep (N. Roy) and at Rouyn-Noranda 28 Sep–4 Oct (P. Bonenfant).

Woodpeckers through Warblers

A significant Red-bellied Woodpecker post-breeding dispersal took place this fall with five individuals reported in Gaspésie and one that reached Cap-aux-Meules (Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine) 17 Oct (DG. Gaudet, C. Roy). A Say’s Phoebe brightened Les Bergeronnes 12 Sep (J. Roy-Drainville et al). A Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was beautifully photographed at La Minerve 6 Aug (F. Mathieu). Single Fork-tailed Flycatchers at Normandin 1–10 Sep (J. St-Hilaire, m.ob.) and at Baie du Portage (Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine) 1–5 Oct (D.G. Gaudet, C. Roy) brought up to 26 the number of records for the region, the latest being the first for Îles-de-la-Madeleine. Despite November cold, good numbers of Tree Swallows were reported well into the month; the last two birds were seen at Sainte-Catherine 20 Nov following several nights with temperatures at less than -10 C. (L. Lemay). A White-eyed Vireo at the Montréal Botanical Gardens 24 Oct–21 Nov was enjoyed by plenty of bird enthusiasts (E. Brisson-Curadeau, J. Brisson, m.ob.).

A total of four Northern Wheatears was near seasonal average, with one at Trois-Pistoles 11–17 Sep (JE. Joubert), one at Lévis 26 Sep (J. Bernier), one at Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan 28 Sep (M. Priéto) and one at Rivière-aux-Outardes 21 Oct (D. St-Laurent). The only Townsend’s Solitaire of the season was at La Baie 23–24 Oct (A. Lavoie et al). A Louisiana Waterthrush photographed at North Hatley 12 Aug (A. Côté, G. Lemelin, M. Raymond et al) was the first ever documented in this month for the region. An excellent total of four Prairie Warblers was reported this fall: one at Île des Soeurs 23–25 Aug (B. Bellocq, m. ob), one at Maizerets (Québec City) 19 Sept (D. Campeau), one at Parc Forillon 22 Sept (D. Jalbert) and one at Cap Tourmente 30 Sept (L. Messely, JF Bédard). A Yellow-breasted Chat was banded at the Cap Tourmente banding station 22 Sept, providing one of many records of this species at this location (P.A. Dumas et al).

Sparrows through Orioles

The Lark Sparrow was unusually rare this fall, with only one reported at Bonaventure 30 Sept (J. Charette). A Grasshopper Sparrow at Saint-Basile (Portneuf) 1 Oct (S. Blackburn, S. Lemieux) represented a very rare fall migrant for the region. Up to four Nelson’s Sparrows at Pumpkinseed Bay (Grenville-sur-la-Rouge) 1–13 Oct (J. Bouvier) seemed to indicate a natural migratory stopover along the Outaouais River for the James Bay population. A Field Sparrow at Bassin 27 Oct (C. Roy) was one of only few records for Îles-de-la-Madeleine. A total of four Summer Tanagers was not completely unexpected for this regular vagrant. One was photographed at Pierrefonds 27 Sept (E. and J. Horack), one lingered at Bécancour 1-12 Nov (F. Arbour, m. ob.), one stopped at Matapédia 7 Nov (C. Pitre), and a last one was at Sherbrooke 9 Nov (S. Mercier). A Western Meadowlark at Pabos Mills 8 Oct–6 Nov (W. de Merchant) adds up to the many records of this species in the past decade in eastern Québec. A male Orchard Oriole at Saint-Ferdinand 8 Aug and a female the following day (G. Huot, J. Carpentier) were notable.

Report processed by Randi Minetor, 1 Mar 2021.

Photos–Québec: Fall 2018

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