[CT Birds] Fwd: [SHOREBIRDS] James Bay Shorebird Report #5 - Photos

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Tue Aug 23 14:17:08 EDT 2011

-----Original Message-----
From: Jean Iron <jeaniron at SYMPATICO.CA>
Sent: Mon, Aug 22, 2011 10:12 pm
Subject: [SHOREBIRDS] James Bay Shorebird Report #5 - Photos

This is my fifth and final report for the period 11 to 14 August 2011 at North 
oint on the southwest coast of James Bay, Ontario, and includes sightings from 
earby Longridge Point from Mark Peck and Little Piskwamish Point from Doug 
cRae and Barb Charlton. The OMNR chopper flew survey crews from the three camps 
o Moosonee on 14 August. We took the Polar Bear Express train from Moosonee to 
ochrane on 15th and drove home to southern Ontario on 16th. Shorebird surveys 
re a partnership of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), Ontario Ministry of Natural 
esources (OMNR), Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) and Moose Cree First Nation 
MCFN). The Longridge crew was Mark Peck (ROM), Roy John, Emily Rondel and 
ntonio Coral. The Little Piskwamish crew was Don Sutherland (OMNR), Doug McRae, 
arb Charlton and Ron Ridout. The North Point crew was Mike McMurtry (OMNR), 
ean Iron, Aus Taverner and Minnie Sutherland (MCFN).
SHOREBIRD OBSERVATIONS: A combined total of 27 shorebird species was recorded 
or the three camps.
Black-bellied Plover: 56 on 13th at North Point, 28 on 12th at Little 
iskwamish, up to 50 daily at Longridge.
American Golden-Plover: 1 molting adult on 11th and 2 on 13th at Little 
Semipalmated Plover: 29 on 12th, including first juvenile, at North Point, 52 on 
3th at Little Piskwamish.
Solitary Sandpiper: 4 on 11th at Little Piskwamish.
Greater Yellowlegs: 451 on 11th at North Point (70% juveniles) and 148 on 11th 
t Little Piskwamish.
Lesser Yellowlegs: 309 on 11th at North Point (80% juveniles) and 691 mostly 
uveniles on 11th at Little Piskwamish.
Whimbrel: 6 on 11th at North Point.
Hudsonian Godwit: 160 molting adults on 12th at North Point and 290 on 11th at 
ittle Piskwamish, where a Hudsonian Godwit with red flag CMC from Chile was 
een and photographed on 31 July.
Marbled Godwit, 1 adult male with 2 juveniles on 11, 12 and 13th at North Point, 
lus an additional juvenile on 11th.
Ruddy Turnstone: 49 adults on 13th at North Point and 58 on 11th at Little 
iskwamish. Longridge recorded a Ruddy Turnstone with a lime green flag from 
elaware Bay, USA, on 10th.
RED KNOT: Of the three surveys sites for this period Little Piskwamish had the 
ighest one day count of 2400 on 11th, Longridge had 250 on 12th, and North 
oint only 5 on 13th. FLAGS: The combined three sites for the entire survey 
allied about 2000 individual sightings of flags representing more than 600 
ifferently marked birds from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, United States and 
anada. Celebrity knot TY was last seen at Longridge on 11 August. A knot with a 
hite flag placed in Quebec was seen many times during the final two week 
eriod.  DATALOGGERS: Longridge recorded 2 dataloggers and Little Piskwamish had 
, all put on in the United States. JUVENILES: The juvenile knot migration was 
ust starting when we left. Little Piskwamish,  7 juveniles on 11th. North 
oint, 2 juveniles on 11th. Longridge, several juveniles on 12th. It would be 
nteresting to know how many juveniles stage on the James Bay and how long they 
tay. We hope to survey longer next year.
Sanderling: 26 molting adults on 11th at North Point, 8 on 13th at Little 
iskwamish. Longridge recorded a lime green flag from Delaware Bay, USA.
Semipalmated Sandpiper: 5100 on 11th at North Point were still almost all 
dults. Increased numbers of juveniles arrived on the afternoon of 13th. A bird 
ith flag lime OHU from the USA was at North Point on 13th. Longridge recorded a 
ellow flag from Suriname on 28 July and 7 August.
Least Sandpiper: 308 on 12th at North Point were almost all juveniles. 277 on 
1th at Little Piskwamish were all juveniles.
White-rumped Sandpiper: 31,657 on 11th at Little Piskwamish. 9800 molting adults 
n 11th at North Point. This is the commonest shorebird in southern James Bay.
Pectoral Sandpiper: 436 non-molting adults on 12th at North Point. 295 on 11th 
t Little Piskwamish.
Dunlin: 209 adults on 11th at North Point were starting to show signs of molt. 
95 on 11th at Little Piskwamish.
Short-billed Dowitcher: 27 on 11th at Little Piskwamish, those seen well were 
Wilson's Snipe: 13 on 12th at Little Piskwamish.
Wilson's Phalarope: 1 juvenile on 11th at Little Piskwamish.
Red-necked Phalarope: 1 adult on 11th at Little Piskwamish.
SHOREBIRD MIGRATION: A huge southbound migration took place on 11th and 13th 
uring the day, taking advantage of strong north winds. Birds were high and very 
ocal. Flock size varied from 6 to 70 and included Black-bellied Plovers, 
reater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Whimbrel, Hudsonian Godwits, Pectoral Sandpipers, 
hite-rumped Sandpipers, Dunlin and Ruddy Turnstones.
OTHER BIRDS: In rough checklist order: Canada Goose, 476 on 11th at North Point 
nd 853 at Little Piskwamish. 3 Northern Harriers at North Point included 2 
uveniles on 12th and 13th, which were catching Savannah Sparrows. Small mammals 
umbers were extremely low on the wide coastal prairie-like expanses. Sandhill 
rane, 38 on 12th at North Point and 30 on 11th at Little Piskwamish. Little 
ull, 1 juvenile on 12th at Little Piskwamish. Bonaparte's Gull, 466 on 11th at 
ittle Piskwamish and 8 on 13th at North Point. Common Tern, 33 on 13th at North 
oint included many family groups with adults feeding noisy juveniles. Arctic 
ern, a family group of 4 on 13th at Little Piskwamish. Long-eared Owl, 1 on 
3th at Longridge was seen and heard. BELTED KINGFISHER: 1 on 11th at Longridge 
as new for our survey camps checklist. Northern Shrike, 1 on 12th at Little 
iskwamish. Olive-sided Flycatcher, 2 on 13th and 14th at North Point. Common 
avens, 8 on 12th at North Point; one caught !
a sandpiper on 13th. Boreal Chickadee, 1 daily at Little Piskwamish. Gray Jay, 
air with a dark juvenile regular at North Point and Little Piskwamish camps, 
uveniles are molting now. Swallow migration at Little Piskwamish: Tree Swallow, 
3 on 12th, Bank Swallow, 2 on 12th. Swainson's Thrush, 2 still at North Point 
amp on 13th. American Pipit, 1 on 12th and 13th with damaged right eye at North 
oint. WARBLERS at North Point in pre-migration flocks included Tennessee, 
range-crowned, Cape May, Yellow-rumped, Bay-breasted, Blackpoll, Palm, 
lack-and-white, American Redstart, Wilson's and Canada. Little Piskwamish had a 
allout of warblers on 12th. Sparrows: Le Conte's Sparrow, 4 on 11th and 12th at 
ittle Piskwamish. Nelson's Sparrow, 11 on 11th at Little Piskwamish, Swamp 
parrow, 33 on 12th at Little Piskwamish. Savannah Sparrow, 130 on 11th at 
ittle Piskwamish and 59 on 11th at North Point. Clay-colored Sparrow, 2 on 12th 
t North Point. Rusty Blackbird, 8 on 11th at Lit!
tle Piskwamish. Common Grackle, 1 on 13th at Little Piskwamish. Purple
Finch, at least 1 daily at Little Piskwamish and one on 12th and 13th at North 
oint. White-winged Crossbills fed on ripening spruce cones at North Point and 
ere seen and heard regularly at Little Piskwamish.
MAMMALS: Male Moose with large antlers seen from helicopter near Longridge on 
4th. Gray Wolf tracks on 11th at North Point. Black Bear seen most days at 
ongridge. Unidentified bat on 11th and 14th at Longridge. Heather Vole, 1 on 
2th at Little Piskwamish.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: I especially thank Ron Pittaway for posting my reports from 
ames Bay. Ron inspired my love of shorebirds and encouraged me to volunteer for 
orthern surveys with the OMNR and ROM.
PHOTOS of this summer's survey.
Jean Iron
oronto, Ontario

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