Semipalmated Plover and Rough-legged Hawk by the St. Lawrence: August 2020

Names like Semipalmated Plover, Rough-legged Hawk, Red-eyed Vireo, Rough-winged Swallow and others come from the “specimen tray” period of bird identification. The birds were first shot and then carefully examined in a studio. Specific foot traits, colour of eye or minute wing details do not appear at a distance through binoculars.

Today I visited 2 natural locations just south of Quebec City. The first was right on the south bank of the river.

Chateau Frontenac seen from the other side of the St. Lawrence
Red Ash (Fraxinus pensylvanica)

It was here that I spotted this large hawk which usually appears in Ontario only in winter.

Rough-legged Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk

Along the shore I could hear the quiet peeping of these plovers:

Semipalmated Plover
Semipalmated Plovers
Semipalmated Plovers
Semipalmated Plover

50 years ago, only Black Ducks were found in this area but now, due to their trusting nature, Mallards have taken over:


My second visit was to various locations along the Chaudière River which flows into the St. Lawrence just across from Quebec City.

Northern Leopard Frog

Thanks to Ken Sproule for assistance in frog identification.

Some botany:

Flat-topped White Aster (Doellingeria umbellata)
Purple-stemmed Aster (Symphyotrichum puniceum)
Panicled Aster (Symphyotrichum lanceolatum)
Rose Hips
Red Maple (Acer rubra)
Hawthorn (Crataegus)
New York Fern
New York Fern
Lady Fern
Spotted Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)
Hobble-bush (Viburnum alnifolium)
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)
Harebell (Campanula rotundiflora)
Water Smartweed (Persicaria amphibia)
Marsh Pea (Lathyrus palustris)


All Nature helps to swell the song
And chant the same refrain;
July and June have slipped away
And August’s here again.    – anon.

Miles Hearn

1 thought on “Semipalmated Plover and Rough-legged Hawk by the St. Lawrence: August 2020

  1. Lisa Volkov

    Spectacular! Sorry to say, but I have never been east (in Canada) of Montreal, so it was great to see this. And of course, wonderful birds, plants, and that strikingly brilliant looking Northern Leopard Frog! Thanks, Miles (and Ken)!


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