> From: "Jean Iron" <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: August 2, 2010 10:03:11 AM EDT
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: [Ontbirds] James Bay Shorebirds, Ontario #3
> This is Jean Iron's third report by satellite phone on 1 August 2010 for
> the period 23 July to 1 August 2010 from Longridge Point on southern
> James Bay. Jean is a volunteer surveying Red Knots and other shorebirds
> under 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
> Sutherland of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR), Mike
> McMurtry (OMNR), Doug McRae (ROM volunteer) and Ray Ford (writer)
> arrived and Christian Friis (Canadian Wildlife Service) left. Mark Peck,
> Lisa Pollock (Trent University/OMNR) and Jean Iron are staying until the
> survey ends about 15 August. Seven people are in camp.
> SHOREBIRD MIGRATION CHRONOLOGY: Most (not all) southbound shorebirds
> migrate in three waves: females first, males second, juveniles last.
> Females depart soon after the young hatch leaving the males to raise the
> young. The males depart about 2-3 weeks later when the juveniles have
> grown. Then juveniles migrate after the males.
> SHOREBIRD OBSERVATIONS
> About 7000 shorebirds are currently in the Longridge Point area. There
> are no Peregrine Falcons to disrupt their feeding. Best day for high
> counts was 29 July after a storm. For most species only the high count
> day 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
> extensive tidal flats of southern James Bay are an important stopover
> area for knots. 120 marked individuals have been observed with several
> birds seen over a period of 12-14 days indicating a long stay. Mark Peck
> and shorebird researcher Lisa Pollock are sampling the foods eaten by
> the knots. They noted that the knots are plump and in excellent
> condition. These knots will likely fly nonstop to South America.
> Migrating 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
> in 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
> 30th. 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
> continue rising. Ontario's low flat coastline of James Bay is extremely
> vulnerable. Rising sea levels will inundate or change vital shorebird
> OTHER SIGHTINGS
> Birds: Black Scoter, a few seen but not the big flocks of molting males
> seen last summer. Red-throated Loon. 92 American White Pelicans on 1
> August. Yellow Rail, 6 ticking on 1 August. Osprey. Northern Harrier.
> Northern Goshawk on 1 August. Merlin. An adult Great Black-backed Gull
> is regular. Little Gull, 1 adult of 23 and 29 July was in wing molt.
> Bonaparte's Gull, 356 on 30 July with some adults in wing molt, first
> juveniles on 23 July. Bonaparte's and Little Gulls in wing molt suggest
> that some birds of these species undergo prebasic molt close to the
> breeding grounds. Arctic Terns seen daily including a pair feeding 3
> young on 27 July. Common Tern, 2 on 31 July. Adult light morph Parasitic
> Jaeger on 29 July. Short-eared Owl observed doing a "food drop" to young
> in the grass. Yellow-bellied Flycatcher on 1 August. Rusty Blackbird.
> Philadelphia and Red-eyed Vireos. Tennessee, Orange-crowned, Cape May,
> Bay-breasted, and Blackpoll Warblers. Le Conte's and Nelson's Sparrows
> still singing, Nelson's nest with 4 young. 1 Purple Finch. White-winged
> Crossbills daily. Common Redpolls regular.
> Mammals: Black Bears are seen daily including a female with two cubs and
> a 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
> washed up earlier. Young Snowshoe Hare around camp. Short-tailed Weasel
> regular at camp. Striped Skunks 2.
> Butterflies: New since the last report are Atlantis Fritillary and
> American Lady.
> FOREST FIRES: There are currently very few forest fires burning in
> Ontario's boreal forest and Hudson Bay Lowlands. Most fires north of the
> commercial timber zone are allowed to burn unless they threaten
> lives/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
> Minden, Ontario
> ONTBIRDS is presented by the Ontario Field Ornithologists - the provincial birding organization.
> Send bird reports to ONTBIRDS mailing list [log in to unmask]
> For information about ONTBIRDS visit http://www.ofo.ca/
Coordinator OFNC Falcon Watch
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Ottawa, Ontario K1V 9T5
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Essex, NY 12936
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