[CT Birds] Fwd: [SHOREBIRDS] James Bay Report # 4

semismart9 at aol.com semismart9 at aol.com
Mon Jul 27 19:00:18 EDT 2009

-----Original Message-----
From: Jean Iron <jeaniron at SYMPATICO.CA>
Sent: Mon, Jul 27, 2009 5:36 pm
Subject: [SHOREBIRDS] James Bay Report # 4

Report from Jean Iron on 27 July 2009 for the period 23-26 July from?
Longridge Point on southern James Bay. Jean called late this morning?
so a few of today's sightings are included in this report. Mark Peck?
of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) heads a group of six who are?
surveying migrating shorebirds. The focus of the study is the?
endangered rufa subspecies of the Red Knot. The crews survey 15 km of?
coastline per day and have recorded 103 bird species to date.?
SHOREBIRDS: 24 species of shorebirds recorded to date. The high count?
day for the period is listed for each species except for Red Knot,?
which includes counts for all days. Numbers below represent adults.?
First juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs (3) was on 24 July and first?
juvenile Least Sandpiper (1) was on 26 July.?
Black-bellied Plover: 3 on 26 July.?
American Golden Plover: 1 on 26 July.?
Semipalmated Plover: 25 on 24 July.?
Killdeer: 2 on 26 July.?
Spotted Sandpiper: 2 on 25 July.?
Solitary Sandpiper: 3 on 25 July.?
Greater Yellowlegs: 183 on 24 July.?
Lesser Yellowlegs: 376 on 24 July including first juveniles (3).?
Whimbrel: 85 on 24 July.?
Hudsonian Godwit: 528 on 24 July. 2 on 23rd had flags from Chile.?
Marbled Godwit: 6 on 24 July. The wintering grounds of James Bay?
birds were unknown until recently. Researchers were surprised when?
birds fitted with satellite transmitters on Akimiski Island, Nunavut,?
in 2007 and 2008 went southwest to winter at the Gulf of California?
(Sea of Cortez) on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. Previously it was?
speculated that they wintered on the south Atlantic Coast of the?
United States, which is much closer to James Bay.?
Ruddy Turnstone: 151 on 26 July.?
Red Knot: 915 on 23 July, 704 on 24th, 1,035 on 25th, 1,055 on 26th.?
Many flagged knots are being re-sighted. One bird banded in Argentina?
was seen on 17 July and on 25th staying at least 9 days so far. Knots?
are fattening before departing on the next long flight. The?
helicopter survey of southern James Bay on 22 July by Guy Morrison?
and Ken Ross of the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) found an?
estimated 2,000 Red Knots (fide Ken Abraham).?
Sanderling: 75 on 26 July.?
Semipalmated Sandpiper: 3792 on 24 July.?
Least Sandpiper: 69 on 24 July. First juvenile on 26th.?
White-rumped Sandpiper: 53 on 26 July.?
Pectoral Sandpiper: 266 on 24 July.?
Dunlin: 20 on 24 July.?
Stilt Sandpiper: 1 on 24 July.?
Short-billed Dowitcher: 11 on 24 July included a mixture subspecies?
both griseus and hendersoni subspecies and intergrades. Ontario is?
the main zone of intergradation between the two subspecies.?
Wilson's Snipe: 4 on 26 July.?
OTHER BIRDS: Not listed in checklist sequence. Best bird was a?
HENSLOW'S SPARROW this morning (27 July) found by Doug McRae, Mark?
Peck and Amy Whitear. This is the first record for northern Ontario.?
Nearby they saw a Clay-colored Sparrow. 3 juvenile Northern Shrikes?
this morning (27 July) found by Don Shanahan and Gerry Binsfeld. 2?
adult Little Gulls on 23 July. A high of 2,200 Black Scoters, mostly?
molting males, on 25 July. Once female scoters start incubating the?
males depart to molting areas on saltwater. Also seen were 4 Surf and?
some White-winged Scoters.?
MAMMALS: 5 Belugas (White Whales) including a female and calf on 23?
July, and 3 on 24th. A Short-tailed Weasel (Ermine) with small mammal?
in its mouth was at camp on 22 July and seen again on 26 July.?
AKIMISKI ISLAND: Guy Morrison and Ken Ross (CWS) doing aerial surveys?
late last week saw an estimated 50-70,000 peeps along the north coast?
of the island and a good number of Marbled Godwits on the south coast?
(fide Ken Abraham).?
HUDSON BAY REPORT: On 26 July I talked to Ken Abraham, Ontario?
Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR), who is in Peawanuck doing?
surveys in the Hudson Bay Lowlands. Ken found an active Semipalmated?
Plover nest with four eggs on 25 July perhaps another indication of a?
late shorebird nesting season. Most Snow Geese along the Hudson Bay?
coast (10,000 on Pen Islands and 130,000 at Cape Henrietta Maria)?
either did not nest or had a poor nesting season because of the cold?
late spring and late snow melt. The adult breeders normally molt?
along the coast as their young grow. However, many adult Snow Geese?
have disappeared and Ken thinks that the failed breeders left to molt?
elsewhere. The small Snow Goose colony on Akimiski Island, Nunavut,?
in James Bay did much better than the Hudson Bay colonies. Ken had?
seen no duck broods as of 26 July. Next week Ken and Rod Brooks?
(OMNR) and Ken Ross (CWS) will be doing duck brood surveys as part of?
the international Sea Duck Joint Venture, which is addressing?
declines in sea ducks. Earlier surveys this summer found good numbers?
of paired Black Scoters and some Surf and White-winged Scoters on?
small lakes in the Hudson Bay Lowlands. Ken did a complete survey of?
the Ontario's north coast (>1000 km) from southern James Bay to the?
Manitoba border on 12-14 July and he saw only one Polar Bear.?
However, many bears came ashore this past week following strong south?
winds that pushed ice well away from the coast.?
Map link shows ice conditions in James and Hudson Bays.?
Yellow marker on map shows location of Longridge Point. The Province?
of Ontario extends to the high water mark on James Bay. The offshore?
islands, such as Akimiski, are in Nunavut Territory, whereas the?
waters and seabed are internal parts of Canada under federal jurisdiction.?
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Mark Peck is grateful to the Ontario Ministry of?
Natural Resources for logistical support. He particularly thanks Ken?
Abraham, Rod Brooks and Sarah Hagey. Funding for the Red Knot Survey?
came from The Species at Risk Research Fund in Ontario, which is a?
partnership between the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and?
World Wildlife Fund Canada.?
Ron Pittaway?
Ontario, Canada?

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