An odd place to see a Dovekie was on the ground near a feeder at Sainte-Thérèse-de-Gaspé 5 Jan. (Albini Couture, Y. Cyr); more expected, 34 individuals were spotted at Blanc-Sablon 14 Jan. (BJ). A Red-throated Loon discovered on a roadside at Hinchinbrooke 29 Dec. was a surprising find (D. Simon). A juvenile Pacific Loon at Percé 9 Dec. was noteworthy (JR. Lepage). Totally unexpected in winter, a Sooty Shearwater was observed on a record late date 2 Dec. at Rivière-Ouelle (C. Auchu, C. Girard). Unprecedented in winter, a Leach’s Storm-Petrel at Sainte-Pétronille (Île d’Orléans) 10 Dec. provided a record late date for the province (R. Simard, L. Bateman). Inland records of Northern Gannet included singles at Saint-Élie-d’Orford 10 Dec. (fide S. Beaudette) and at Deschambeault 11 Dec. (S. Blackburn, S. Lemieux).
Cormorants through Thrasher
An immature Great Cormorant in the Lachine Rapids at Sainte-Catherine 26 Dec. was a good find (SD). Despite the cold weather, the last Great Egret lingered at Châteauguay until 10 Dec. (m. ob.) while the last Turkey Vulture was spotted at Ayer’s Cliff 19 Dec. (C. Muir-Norrie). A putative Red-shouldered Hawk x Red-tailed Hawk hybrid was nicely photographed at Shawville 11-22 Dec. (R. Auger, D. Powell, ph.). Short-eared Owls were reported in eight different localities in Dec. (m. ob.), thus appearing more in evidence compared to recent winters although far less common than a few decades ago.
The adult Red-headed Woodpecker at Île Saint-Bernard (Châteauguay) was last seen 7 Jan. (m.ob.) during the coldest spell of the winter. Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers attempting to winter were reported at Loretteville 22-29 Dec. (P. Dechêne, m. ob.), Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière 5 Jan.-26 Feb. (T. Biteau) and Carignan 18 Feb. (N. Tétreault, SD, D. Daigneault). At least two out of the three Eastern Bluebirds recorded in Percé in Dec. made it to 25 Feb., providing a first successful overwintering record for the Gaspé Peninsula (DJ, AG). Another individual was found at Port-Daniel 19 Feb. (PP, M. Jaffré). The continuing female Mountain Bluebird at L’Islet was last reported 21 Jan. (m. ob.) while a gorgeous male brightened Boisé Sainte-Dorothée (Laval) 2 Dec. (L. Auclair et al., ph.). Single Townsend’s Solitaires made brief appearances at Ville-Marie 4 Dec. (J. Fréchette) and Trois-Rivières 21 Jan. (GG). Always rare in winter, a Gray Catbird at Lévis 14 Jan. was noteworthy (M. Lamontagne). The only Brown Thrasher of the season was at Saint-Hyacinthe 19-28 Jan. (M. D’Auteuil, ph.).
Warblers through Blackbirds
Late warblers showed up again this year: a Black-and-white Warbler stopped at Pointe Yamachiche 2 Dec. (GG), two Tennessee Warblers at Rimouski 1 Dec. (P. Fradette, G. Bouchard) were the first for this month since 1979. A Yellow Warbler lingered at Côte-Sainte-Catherine up to 9 Dec. (D. Sirois, Y. Gauthier). A record late Blackpoll Warbler was beautifully photographed at Terrebonne 2 Dec. (JF. Piché, M-C. Brault). The presence of a Yellow-breasted Chat at Petit-Matane 5-6 Dec. (Saint-Louis Fournier, L. Fradette) was remarkable. Single out-of-range Eastern Towhees were recorded at Saint-Bruno (Lac Saint-Jean) 9 Dec. (E. Wilmot et al.) and at Chandler 25 Dec.-20 Jan. (R. Garrett). Single Clay-colored Sparrows at Québec City until 4 Mar (S. Baker) and at Saint-Blaise until 7 Jan. (C. Guay) were among very few documented records in winter in the Region. Almost expected in the Gaspé Pen., a Lark Sparrow stayed at l’Anse-à-Beaufils 10-18 Dec. (PP). Single Harris’s Sparrows at Sainte-Famille (Ile d’Orléans) 3 Dec.-9 Feb. (M. Blouin) and at Chambord 10-28 Dec. (S. Boivin et al.) were great finds.
A Summer Tanager stopped at a Saint-André d’Argenteuil feeder 1-10 Dec. (J. Couture, M. Hewitt, ph., fide S. Robert). The continuing Western Tanager at Charlesbourg, Québec City was last seen 14 Dec. (MC. Roy). Again this year, a very late Indigo Bunting appeared in the Region, at Pabos this time, 17 Dec. (AG, DJ).
Rare but regular in winter, two large groups of Rusty Blackbirds were less expected, with ten birds seemingly overwintering at Rose Bridge (Gaspé) (S. Brodeur) and 19 birds causing a surprise at Saint-Armand 23 Feb. (JG. Papineau).
Photos–Québec: Winter 2017-2018
Hover or click on each image to read the caption.