[CT Birds] Fwd: [SHOREBIRDS] James Bay Shorebirds, Ontario #3

semismart9 at aol.com semismart9 at aol.com
Mon Aug 2 12:22:40 EDT 2010

-----Original Message-----
From: Jean Iron <jeaniron at SYMPATICO.CA>
Sent: Mon, Aug 2, 2010 10:09 am
Subject: [SHOREBIRDS] James Bay Shorebirds, Ontario #3

This is Jean Iron's third report by satellite phone on 1 August 2010 for
he period 23 July to 1 August 2010 from Longridge Point on southern
ames Bay. Jean is a volunteer surveying Red Knots and other shorebirds
nder the direction of Mark Peck of the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto.
On 31 July four more people arrived at camp and one there departed. Don
utherland of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR), Mike
cMurtry (OMNR), Doug McRae (ROM volunteer) and Ray Ford (writer)
rrived and Christian Friis (Canadian Wildlife Service) left. Mark Peck,
isa Pollock (Trent University/OMNR) and Jean Iron are staying until the
urvey ends about 15 August. Seven people are in camp.
SHOREBIRD MIGRATION CHRONOLOGY: Most (not all) southbound shorebirds
igrate in three waves: females first, males second, juveniles last.
emales depart soon after the young hatch leaving the males to raise the
oung. The males depart about 2-3 weeks later when the juveniles have
rown. Then juveniles migrate after the males.
bout 7000 shorebirds are currently in the Longridge Point area. There
re no Peregrine Falcons to disrupt their feeding. Best day for high
ounts was 29 July after a storm. For most species only the high count
ay is given below in checklist order.
Black-bellied Plover: 21 molting adults on 29 July.
American Golden-Plover: 2 adults on 25 July.
Semipalmated Plover: 97 on 29 July.
Killdeer: 26 on 29 July.
Spotted Sandpiper: 9 on 31 July.
Greater Yellowlegs: 209 (1/2 juveniles) on 29 July.
Lesser Yellowlegs: 437 mostly juveniles on 28 July.
Whimbrel: 51 on 23 July.
Hudsonian Godwit: 392 molting adults on 29 July.
Marbled Godwit: None.
Ruddy Turnstone: 415 adults on 29 July.
RED KNOT: The high count of 1143 molting adults was on 29 July. The
xtensive tidal flats of southern James Bay are an important stopover
rea for knots. 120 marked individuals have been observed with several
irds seen over a period of 12-14 days indicating a long stay. Mark Peck
nd shorebird researcher Lisa Pollock are sampling the foods eaten by
he knots. They noted that the knots are plump and in excellent
ondition. These knots will likely fly nonstop to South America.
igrating knots that fail to gain adequate weight suffer reduced
Sanderling: 20 molting adults on 25 July.
Semipalmated Sandpiper: 4338 mostly adults on 31 July, first juveniles
a few) on 30th.
WESTERN SANDPIPER: 2 on 29 July seen by Mark Peck.
Least Sandpiper: 126 mainly juveniles on 31 July.
White-rumped Sandpiper: 2450 molting adults on 31 July. A few are still
n almost full but heavily worn alternate plumage.
Pectoral Sandpiper: 520 adults (not molting) on 29 July.
Dunlin: 34 adults still in full worn alternate plumage on 26 July.
BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER: 1 on 25 July seen by Lisa Pollock.
Short-billed Dowitcher: 2 juveniles on 24 July, 5 juveniles on 29th.
Wilson's Snipe: 4 on 28 July.
Wilson's Phalarope: 1 juvenile previously reported on 21 July, 1 adult
probable male with cinnamon on sides of neck) on 29th, 1 juvenile on
0th. A sparse population breeds at James Bay.
Red-necked Phalarope: 1 molting adult on 29 July.
SEA LEVEL RISE: Sea levels could rise one metre by 2100 and will
ontinue rising. Ontario's low flat coastline of James Bay is extremely
ulnerable. Rising sea levels will inundate or change vital shorebird
irds: Black Scoter, a few seen but not the big flocks of molting males
een last summer. Red-throated Loon. 92 American White Pelicans on 1
ugust. Yellow Rail, 6 ticking on 1 August. Osprey. Northern Harrier.
orthern Goshawk on 1 August. Merlin. An adult Great Black-backed Gull
s regular. Little Gull, 1 adult of 23 and 29 July was in wing molt.
onaparte's Gull, 356 on 30 July with some adults in wing molt, first
uveniles on 23 July. Bonaparte's and Little Gulls in wing molt suggest
hat some birds of these species undergo prebasic molt close to the
reeding grounds. Arctic Terns seen daily including a pair feeding 3
oung on 27 July. Common Tern, 2 on 31 July. Adult light morph Parasitic
aeger on 29 July. Short-eared Owl observed doing a "food drop" to young
n the grass. Yellow-bellied Flycatcher on 1 August. Rusty Blackbird.
hiladelphia and Red-eyed Vireos. Tennessee, Orange-crowned, Cape May,
ay-breasted, and Blackpoll Warblers. Le Conte's and Nelson's Sparrows
till singing, Nelson's nest with 4 young. 1 Purple Finch. White-winged
rossbills daily. Common Redpolls regular.
Mammals: Black Bears are seen daily including a female with two cubs and
 female with one cub. No problem bears around camp. A dead young Beluga
White Whale) washed up on shore. It could be the calf of the adult that
ashed up earlier. Young Snowshoe Hare around camp. Short-tailed Weasel
egular at camp. Striped Skunks 2.
Butterflies: New since the last report are Atlantis Fritillary and
merican Lady.
FOREST FIRES: There are currently very few forest fires burning in
ntario's boreal forest and Hudson Bay Lowlands. Most fires north of the
ommercial timber zone are allowed to burn unless they threaten
ives/property and First Nation (Cree) communities.
Southern James Bay map shows location of Longridge Point
Jean will call again in a week and I'll post another update.
Ron Pittaway
inden, Ontario

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