2 December

"I LOVE French-Canadians" Dwight Stone, 1976

I've spent a bit of time on ‘dodgy ducks’ – having seen the especially dodgy Eastern Spot-billed Duck (looking now to be a hybrid) in Massachusetts a few days ago, and the apparently more valid Common Shelduck in Sept-Iles, Quebec this morning. Both birds were surprisingly shy. The Shelduck took a bit of work in this morning’s snowstorm, and flushed unexpectedly from several hundred metres ahead of me as I followed the river from bridge to sea, whereafter it flew, and flew, and flew. Was very lucky to get camera working quickly enough. The advice from my elders is to ditch the Massachusetts bird, but to put the Shelduck on my ‘provisional’ list, as it is becoming increasingly believable that this species is a natural vagrant to the northeast.  

Bienvenue a Sept-Iles, Quebec!



Bonjour sunshine!



Je te vois malavisee canard!




Moments after seeing the Common Shelduck, and busting out of my skin.
As usual, nobody around to 'high-five', so resorted to mood-capturing, lens-cracking selfie.
The tail-end of 2016 is increasingly feeling like the 'big year' that I signed up for!




A special thank you to Canadian birders Samuel Denault and Patricia Lalonde for the gen on this bird: Merci beaucoup!!!