Toronto is not a “destination location” for shorebirds. The best time is the week around May 24 when Whimbrels appear at Col. Sam Smith Park. Otherwise it is best to travel to Brighton and visit Presquile Park during migration.
So it was with excitement that I arrived at the wharf and little waterfall at Montmagny Quebec.
About 75 Greater Yellowlegs were present and put on quite a show.
Greater Yellowlegs breed in muskeg, open and sparsely wooded wet areas in the boreal forest zone.
Greater Yellowlegs are about twice the size of the very similar-looking Lesser Yellowlegs. Some books say that the Greater has a slightly upturned bill as this one does:
Other books do not mention this. The best way to separate the two species in the field is to listen for the call. 3 note whistle in Greater – 2 note in Lesser.
Greater Yellowlegs winter along coasts from southern British Columbia and New York south through Middle America, the Caribbean and much of South America.
Montmagny is on the St. Lawrence and provides some panoramic views:
Many Great Blue Herons were also nearby:
Summer declines and roses have grown rare,
But cottage crofts are gay with hollyhocks,
And in old garden walks you breathe an air
Fragrant of pinks and August-smelling stocks. – John Todhunter (1839–1916)
Magnificent! The Quebec scenery, the birds (Yellowlegs and their lore are new to me). Thank you so much, Miles!