Saturday, some driving around local roads yet again failed to turn up a Short-eared Owl (apparently they were all on Amherst Island this weekend where some friends saw 11 of them …. but those would be Ontarian owls and thus barely worthy of note) we found a small flock of Horned Larks

…. and a fairly sizable flock of American Tree Sparrows

Sunday, being a glorious day and barely cold (no gloves needed) we went a couple of hours north to Parc Tremblant – quite apart from some splendid birds, we spent several hours on the raquette trails and worked up a fine appetite. A gorgeous winter’s day – as J said over lunch “who needs to go south in winter when they have all this?” You have to wonder, for us sand in your sarnies on a Floridian beach somehow is no contest for the northern forests under a blue sky.

….. in search of photographable White-winged Crossbills like this fine fellow who was there in his glory with hundreds of his chums:

they don’t just perch – sometimes they fly and stay in focus at the same time

For real flying displays, what can beat a Raven ? This fellow buzzed us twice and came so low I could almost have touched him if I’d had that really long lens I lust after ($8000 – not going to get that any time soon) but actually was so close he was hard to get a fix on – terrific bird whatever.

Also seen were Pine Siskins which we had despaired of s they have not come south to Montreal this winter at all

The last weird thing was the spotting of a small group of American Robins, all ion fine fettle and all way north of where they should have been at this season. The odd straggler in Montreal is normal, but not up there where it gets seriously cold.