There’s been a Gray Jay at the top of Mt. Watatic for the last few weeks now. Of course,
I had a bunch of commitments and last Monday was the first day I could get up there. It
was cloudy and the mountain was covering with screaming kids and barking dogs. The bird
was seen before and after we were there, but not in the couple hours we spent at the
top. And to add insult to that, we tried taking the road down, ended up somewhere
totally wrong and then had to walk back up. The road was supposed to be easier than the
trail, but it turned out to be much steeper and was actually a good deal harder.
So today, we tried again. As we were getting out of the car, Fred Bouchard pulled up
with a few friends. We walked up together, which turned out to be good as
we kept the pace slow enough to not have any major issues. At the top, we found one
photographer who had been seeing the bird, although it wasn’t around at the moment.
We spread out a bit to look without success. The photographer found a Pine
Grosbeak, although he was the only one to see it. We did hear it well at least. After
running over for that, I returned to checking out the edge and very shortly after the
bird flew right in. Everyone else appeared to see it right at the same time. It soon
flew in to the group and grabbed food, moving off for a few minutes and then returning.
Fred and his friends had to leave. We stayed around for a few minutes and not only did
the jay return, but it took peanuts directly out of my mother’s hand!
The walk down was easy, at least after I stopped slipping on the ice at the top (there
was a little snow up there as well). I think only 5 species on the trip, but no
I’m guessing it will be almost impossible to make it the hill in another week or two, so
go soon if you haven’t already.