[CT Birds] Fwd: [SHOREBIRDS] James Bay Shorebirds, Ontario #4

semismart9 at aol.com semismart9 at aol.com
Sun Aug 8 18:31:27 EDT 2010

-----Original Message-----
From: Jean Iron <jeaniron at SYMPATICO.CA>
Sent: Sat, Aug 7, 2010 7:16 pm
Subject: [SHOREBIRDS] James Bay Shorebirds, Ontario #4

This is Jean Iron's fourth report by satellite phone for the period 1-6
ugust 2010 from Longridge Point on the south coast of James Bay. Jean
s a volunteer with the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) surveying the
ndangered rufa subspecies of the Red Knot and other shorebirds. The
rew is led by Mark Peck (ROM) who is a Canadian member of the
nternational team studying knots in the Americas. Other surveyors are
on Sutherland and Mike McMurtry of the Ontario Ministry of Natural
esources (OMNR), Doug McRae (ROM volunteer), Lisa Pollock (Trent
niversity/OMNR) and Ray Ford (writer).
Ontario's coastline of James Bay measures about 560 kilometres or 350
iles. The coast is extremely flat and intersected by several large
ivers and many streams. The southern coast is characterized by long
arrow promontories such as Longridge Point, wide tidal flats, shoals,
andy bays, extensive brackish marshes and pools. Its importance to
horebirds has been compared to the upper Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick.
SHOREBIRD OBSERVATIONS: 26 species to date. Three Peregrine Falcons
bserved chasing shorebirds on 6 August. It is unlikely that these are
undra Peregrines (subspecies tundrius) which should be much farther
orth at this date. Usually only the high count day is given for each
pecies in checklist order.
Black-bellied Plover: 212 adults on 6 August.
American Golden-Plover: 7 adults on 6 August.
Semipalmated Plover: 213 adults on 5 August.
Killdeer: 20 on 3 August were a mix of adults and juveniles.
Greater Yellowlegs: 206 (1/2 juveniles) on 3 August.
Lesser Yellowlegs: 434 mostly juveniles on 6 August.
Solitary Sandpiper: 2 on 1 August.
Spotted Sandpiper: 12 juveniles on 5 August.
Whimbrel: 69 adults (not molting) on 5 August. Here is a link to a
himbrel named Chinquapin that on 5 August was migrating south over
ames Bay. Allow a few seconds to download map.
Hudsonian Godwit: 839 molting adults on 6 August.
Marbled Godwit: 1
Ruddy Turnstone: 656 adults and first juvenile on 5 August.
RED KNOT: 2062 molting adults (no juveniles as of 6 August) on 2 August,
000 on 3rd, 1200 on 6 July indicates about 40 percent departed between
 and 6 August. Some flagged birds stayed 15 days. The migration
trategy of southbound knots is to gather at a limited number of
topover sites such as southern James Bay where they fatten before
igrating nonstop to the next stopover or wintering grounds.
Sanderling: 56 molting adults on 6 August, some with considerable rusty.
 green-flagged bird on the 6th was banded in New Jersey or Delaware,
nited States.
Semipalmated Sandpiper: 3049 mostly adults on 6 August, very few
uveniles to date.
Least Sandpiper: 162 juveniles on 6 August.
White-rumped Sandpiper: 7576 molting adults on 6 August. The most
bundant shorebird.
Pectoral Sandpiper: 1584 adults (not molting) on 6 August.
Dunlin: 87 adults on 5 August not yet showing signs of molt.
Short-billed Dowitcher: 15 juveniles on 6 August.
Wilson's Snipe: 11 on 6 August. Flushed while walking.
Wilson's Phalarope: 1 juvenile on 4 and 5 August.
Red-necked Phalarope: 1 on 3 August, 2 on 4th, 1 adult on 6th.
OTHER BIRDS: American White Pelican, 126 on 1 August. This pelican is
xpanding eastward as a breeder and only recently have numbers occurred
n James Bay. Northern Harrier, 2 juveniles on 5 and 6 August. Northern
oshawk, 1 juvenile on 1 and 3 August, 1 adult on 6th. Merlin, 5 are now
unting shorebirds, likely the adults and juveniles of the local nesting
air. Yellow Rails heard daily. Little Gull, Don Sutherland on 2 August
atched an adult feeding a begging juvenile suggesting nearby nesting, 2
uvenile Little Gulls on 3 August. The main breeding area of Little
ulls in North America is likely the Hudson Bay Lowlands between James
ay and Churchill, Manitoba. Bonaparte's Gull, both adults and juveniles
oted, many adults are in wing molt. This suggests that an unknown
umber of adult Bonaparte's undergo prebasic molt in northern Ontario.
here is usually an influx of adult Bonaparte's Gulls in November on the
iagara River associated with strong cold fronts. Perhaps some these
irds come from northern stopover lakes with abundant minnows such as
ake Abitibi and Lake Nipissing. Adult Bonaparte's molt and stay in
arge numbers to freeze-up on Lake Simcoe in those years that minnows,
articularly Emerald Shiners, are abundant. Arctic Tern, 1 juvenile on 6
ugust. Arctic Tern greatly outnumbers Common Tern on southern James
ay. 15 species of warblers near camp with many still feeding young
ecently out of the nest. Le Conte's and Nelson's Sparrows seen daily.
hite-winged Crossbill, seen and heard daily with high of 53 on 4 July,
ome are singing indicating probable nesting, good cone crop on spruce
n area. Common Redpolls heard and seen regularly.
MAMMALS: A Ringed or Harbor Seal was seen "hauled out" at the tip of
ongridge Point. Caribou on 6 July. River Otter on 5 July. A young
nowshoe Hare frequenting camp hasn't been seen since loud screaming was
eard one night - Great Horned Owl? Lynx?
BUTTERFLIES: New species since the last report are Long Dash Skipper and
louded Sulphur.
Map shows the Canadian Arctic is mainly free of ice and snow. It also
hows James Bay reaching deep into central Canada.
Photo of Longridge Point extending 7 km into James Bay
Acknowledgements: I thank Mark Cranford, Fletcher Smith and Alan
ormington for information.
Jean will call again in a week and I'll post another update.
Ron Pittaway
inden, Ontario

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