[CT Birds] Fwd: [SHOREBIRDS] James Bay Shorebirds, Ontario #5

semismart9 at aol.com semismart9 at aol.com
Sat Aug 14 23:25:26 EDT 2010

-----Original Message-----
From: Jean Iron <jeaniron at SYMPATICO.CA>
Sent: Sat, Aug 14, 2010 7:52 pm
Subject: [SHOREBIRDS] James Bay Shorebirds, Ontario #5

This is Jean Iron's fifth report by satellite phone for the period 7-13
ugust 2010 from Longridge Point, Ontario, on southern James Bay. The
ed Knot and shorebird survey are led by Mark Peck of the Royal Ontario
useum. Partners are the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Trent
niversity and the Canadian Wildlife Service.
SHOREBIRD OBSERVATIONS: For most species only the high count day is
iven below in checklist order. Date for the first juveniles are noted.
Black-bellied Plover: 163 molting adults on 9 August, some mostly in
lternate plumage, others well molted to basic plumage.
American Golden-Plover: 9 molting adults on 8 August.
Semipalmated Plover: 237 mostly adults on 9 August, first juvenile on
th. No banded birds.
Killdeer: 39 on 9 August.
Spotted Sandpiper: 1 juvenile on 10 August.
Solitary Sandpiper: 2 juveniles on 9 August.
Greater Yellowlegs: 130 on 9 August, 60 percent juveniles. Slow shift
rom adults to juveniles.
Lesser Yellowlegs: 572 mostly juveniles on 9 August. Rapid shift from
dults to juveniles.
Whimbrel: 52 adults on 6 August with numbers dropping off.
Hudsonian Godwit: 970 molting adults on 9 August. James Bay is the most
mportant southbound staging area for Hudsonian Godwits.
Marbled Godwit: 8 juveniles on 7 August and 7 on 9th. Small numbers
reed on Akimiski Island and in the prairie-like marshes of southwestern
ames Bay.
Ruddy Turnstone: 604 mostly adults on 10 August, first juvenile on 5th.
RED KNOT: 1382 molting adults on 6 August, adult numbers dropped off
ith 178 on 7th increasing to 672 on 13th. First juvenile knot on 9
ugust, 8 on 13th.
Sanderling: 36 molting adults on 13 August.
Semipalmated Sandpiper: 4715 mostly juveniles on 10 August. Rapid shift
rom adults to juveniles.
WESTERN SANDPIPER: 1 adult was seen by Doug McRae.
Least Sandpiper: 264 juveniles on 9 August, 1 adult on 13th. Rapid shift
rom adults to juveniles.
White-rumped Sandpiper: 7541 molting adults on 10 August. Juveniles are
ate migrants.
Baird's Sandpiper: 1 juvenile on 8 August was the first and another on
Pectoral Sandpiper: 695 adults on 9 August, first juvenile on 8th.
Dunlin: 127 mostly adults on 13 August, first juveniles (2) on 10th.
Stilt Sandpiper: 2 molting adults on 9 August.
Short-billed Dowitcher: 12 juveniles on 9 August. Rapid shift from
dults to juveniles.
Wilson's Snipe: 10 on 10 August.
Wilson's Phalarope: 4 juveniles on 7 August and 6 juveniles on 8th.
mall numbers breed in the prairie-like marshes of James Bay.
Red-necked Phalarope: 8 on 7 August included 5 molting adults and 3
OTHER BIRDS: This is not a complete list. Brant, 1, probably summered on
ames Bay. Canada Goose. Gadwall. American Wigeon. American Black Duck.
allard. Northern Shoveler. Northern Pintail. Green-winged Teal. Greater
caup. Lesser Scaup. Surf Scoter. White-winged Scoter. Black Scoter,
042 mostly molting males on 10 August was only day with high numbers.
ufflehead. Common Goldeneye. Common Merganser. Red-breasted Merganser.
ouble-crested Cormorant. American Bittern, 2 on 10 and 11 August. Great
lue Heron. Bald Eagle. Northern Harrier. Merlin, family group of 2
dults and 3 juveniles hunting shorebirds. American Kestrel, 1 juvenile
r female on 13 August. Yellow Rail, last heard actively ticking on 10
ugust. Little Gull, 1 that has almost completed its molt to second
asic plumage. Bonaparte's Gull, 1647 molting adults on 9 August and
nly 10-12 juveniles, the low number of juveniles suggests that many are
till on the breeding grounds or have migrated south. Common and Arctic
erns feeding juveniles with a ratio of 13 Common to 8 Arctic. Caspian
ern, 5 or 6 most days. Parasitic Jaeger, 2 light morph adults on 10 and
1 August. Long-eared Owl, 4 on 6 August were probably a family group.
hort-eared Owl is seen regularly over the marshes. Common Nighthawk, 1
n 9 August. Black-backed Woodpecker, 1 on 13 August. Western
eadowlark, 1 probable on 8 August, photos taken which will be examined
ater. Le Conte's and Nelson's Sparrows, singing has dropped off
oticeably to almost no song now. White-winged Crossbill, 49 on 9
ugust. Common Redpoll, 8 on 7 August.
HUDSON BAY REPORT: The following report is from Ken Abraham of the
ntario Ministry of Natural Resources. "The melt was very early this
ear. The phenology of goose nesting seems to have responded accordingly
ith a very early laying and hatch. Nest success in our study areas was
elow average because of very high predation rates. I wasn't in a
osition to get any evidence of duck or swan reproduction this year. We
id not do a survey of molting scoters this year, so I have no
xplanation for the lack of scoters off Longridge Point. We've been
peculating about possible differences in weather patterns, winds or
ater temperatures, but we don't have any data. I was on Southampton
sland from July 20-30. I spent a week at East Bay and a few days in
oral Harbour doing vegetation surveys and trying to evaluate the role
f geese in the changes that have occurred there in the last 30 years.
ll four species of geese (snows, cackling, brant and Ross's) seemed to
ave a good year with nest success in the 60-80% range for the first
hree and relatively early hatching; brood sizes ranged from 1-5 but
eemed to average about 2. We had a couple of broods of Red Knots with
alf grown chicks at the beginning of that period. We also saw several
roody White-rumped Sandpipers and Ruddy Turnstones. Those broods would
robably have fledged sometime near the end of July or the first week of
ugust. The King Eiders had broods, but the number of young in the
reches seemed to be fairly low. We saw a few flocks of Whimbrels but
ccording to the crew who had been there, they were the first of the
ummer so they may have been post breeding."
MAMMALS: Beluga, 2 adults on 13 August, Mike McMurtry took a tissue
ample from dead young Beluga for DNA and toxicology analyses. A
elanistic Red Fox on 11 August. Few small mammals are being seen, but
ightings of Northern Harriers, Short-eared and Long-eared Owls, suggest
hat voles and/or shrews are present in sufficient numbers or they're
lso eating birds. Red Squirrel.
BUTTERFLIES: New species since the last report are Orange Sulphur,
ink-edged Sulphur, Palaeno Sulphur, Bog Copper and Summer Azure. Don
utherland reports that butterfly diversity is low this summer, which he
ttributes to variable and wet weather.
DRAGONFLIES: A sample: Cherry-faced Meadowhawk, Black Meadowhawk, Canada
arner, Sedge Darner.
Southern James Bay map shows location of Longridge Point
Next report will be about 10 days when Jean is home. The crew was to fly
ut to Moosonee on 15 August, but the helicopter was delayed in Ungava.
hey are now expected to be picked up on the 17th depending on the
eather. The next day they take the 5 hour train ride from Moosonee to
ochrane where they will overnight. Then on the third day it's a 10 hour
rive to Toronto and Peterborough. Their trip reminds me of the 1987
omedy movie "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" starring Steve Martin and
ohn Candy.
Ron Pittaway
inden, Ontario

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