[CT Birds] Fwd: [SHOREBIRDS] James Bay Shorebirds, Ontario #1

semismart9 at aol.com semismart9 at aol.com
Sun Jul 18 21:23:07 EDT 2010

-----Original Message-----
From: Jean Iron <jeaniron at SYMPATICO.CA>
Sent: Sun, Jul 18, 2010 9:13 pm
Subject: [SHOREBIRDS] James Bay Shorebirds, Ontario #1

This is today's report (18 July 2010) from Jean Iron via satellite phone
or the period 14-17 July from Longridge Point on the southern coast of
ames Bay. James Bay is the southeastern extension of Hudson Bay
eaching deep into eastern Canada south to about 51 degrees north
atitude. The unspoiled broad tidal flats, wide coastal marshes and
slands of James Bay are of hemispheric importance to southbound
horebirds and waterfowl migrating from the Canadian Arctic. Longridge
oint is about 850 km or 530 miles north of Toronto with about one hour
ore daylight today than Toronto.
Mark Peck of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) leads a crew of four
urveying shorebirds with a particular focus on the endangered rufa
ubspecies of the Red Knot. Others crew members are Christian Friis
Canadian Wildlife Service), Lisa Pollock (Trent University/Ontario
inistry of Natural Resources), and Jean Iron (ROM volunteer). The ROM
roup is also surveying Yellow Rails and collecting data on frogs and
oads. The crew arrived on 14 July and is staying until mid August so
hey will see adults and juveniles of many shorebirds, allowing rough
stimates of breeding success.
sually only the high count day for each species is recorded below.
ecent weather has been wet and windy affecting observations.
Black-bellied Plover: 1 adult on 17th.
Greater Yellowlegs: 243 and 1 juvenile on 17th. Greaters nest nearby in
he Hudson Bay Lowlands.
Lesser Yellowlegs: 375 adults on 16th, 3 juveniles on 17th. Lessers nest
earby in the Hudson Bay Lowlands.
Whimbrel: 21 adults on 17th.
Hudsonian Godwit: 169 molting adults on 16th. These are migrants from
arther north.
Marbled Godwit: 18 adults on 16th. There is a small isolated population
reeding on southern James Bay in Ontario, Akimiski Island in Nunavut,
nd Quebec.
Ruddy Turnstone: 25 adults on 17th showing no signs of molt.
RED KNOT: 725 molting and fading adults on 17th. 10 knots on 17th with
eg flags included 2 from Argentina, 6 from Delaware Bay (USA) and 1
rom Virginia or Florida. About 10% of the rufa subspecies is marked.
lorida and South American wintering knots form two populations, which
ave different migration routes and breeding grounds. When the data on
lagged birds are analyzed, we will know the approximate ages and ratio
f males to females, which was determined at time of banding using
olecular sexing techniques. Researchers in other locations of North and
outh America will re-sight some of these birds so we will learn more
bout the populations using James Bay and their migration routes.
Sanderling: 10 molting and fading adults on 16th.
Semipalmated Sandpiper: 600 slightly molting adults on 17th.
Least Sandpiper: 15 adults on 16th showing no signs of molt.
White-rumped Sandpiper: 7 molting adults on 17th. Adults should soon
ncrease in numbers.
Pectoral Sandpiper: 246 adults on 16th showing no signs of molt.
Dunlin: 18 worn adults on 17th. Thousands of Dunlins stage in James Bay,
here adults undergo a complete prebasic molt of body and flight
eathers before resuming migration about mid September. Almost all
uveniles undergo a partial molt of body feathers (not wings/tail)
efore migrating. This is why Dunlins are very rare south of the
ubarctic until much later than most shorebirds.
Short-billed Dowitcher: 1 bright (extensive cinnamon below) adult of the
endersoni subspecies. This subspecies breeds mainly in muskegs and
ogs/fens across the boreal forest from northern Manitoba to the
outhern Northwest Territories and northeastern British Columbia.
Wilson's Snipe: 2 still winnowing.
Shorebird Foods: Shorebirds in Hudson and James Bays feed on the
bundant larvae of the bivalve Macoma balthica (clam), and in southern
ames Bay, the gastropod Hydrobia minuta (snail), as well as a variety
f crustaceans (shrimps/crabs & relatives), worms and dipteran (fly)
arvae (Ontario Shorebird Conservation Plan 2003).
irds: Gadwall, 2 on 16th; American White Pelican, 30 on 16th and 22 on
7th; Yellow Rail, 1 singing (tick-tick) regularly, they were commoner
n 2009; Merlin nesting on ridge behind camp; Short-eared Owl, 2, Arctic
ern, 2 on 17th; 2; Boreal Chickadee, 2 near camp; Gray Jay, 3 near
amp; Pine Grosbeak, 1 on 16th; Northern Waterthrush; Tennessee Warbler
ith young; Clay-colored Sparrow, 2 singing males included 1 on 16th and
 on 17th, a thin population breeds in open willow and birch scrub
djacent James and Hudson Bays; Le Conte's Sparrow, 5 on 16th; Nelson's
parrow, 10 on 16th; Fox Sparrow, singing; White-winged Crossbill, 65 on
Mammals: 3 Belugas (White Whales) on 16th during high tide at Beluga
oint east of camp. Polar Bears are not expected because they rare south
f Akimiski Island. One close Black Bear was seen. Last year a Black
ear broke into the kitchen cabin, made a mess and ate a lot of food.
his required someone to guard the food so that person wasn't available
o survey shorebirds. This year a solar powered electric fence surrounds
he food cabin. Vole and mouse numbers are low, which is similar to most
ther locations in the Hudson Bay Lowlands, except Akimiski Island where
eadow Voles are common.
Amphibians: American Toads of the colourful Hudson Bay subspecies copei
re abundant; Boreal Chorus Frogs are still singing, and Wood Frogs.
Butterflies: Viceroy, Common Ringlet, White Admiral, Red Admiral,
ritillary sp. (Atlantis or Great Spangled), Sulphur sp., and Cabbage
hite. Recent wet weather hasn't been good for butterflies. The 16th was
he best day when most of the above were seen.
Southern James Bay Map Showing Position of Longridge Point
Aerial Photo of Longridge Point extending 7 km into James Bay
nd K. Abraham, R. Clay, B. Collins, J. Iron, R. James, D. McLachlin, R.
eeber. 48 pages. Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada. Link to
df below.
Acknowledgements: I thank Ken Abraham (Ontario Ministry of Natural
esources (OMNR)) and Don Sutherland (OMNR) for information.
Jean will call every 4-6 days and I'll post updates over the next month.
Ron Pittaway
inden, Ontario

More information about the CTBirds mailing list