Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2010 16:05:29 -0400
Reply-To: Jean Iron <jeaniron@SYMPATICO.CA>
Sender: Shorebird Discussion Group <SHOREBIRDS@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: Jean Iron <jeaniron@SYMPATICO.CA>
Subject: James Bay Shorebirds, Ontario #6 - Photos
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
This is my sixth and final report for the period 14-17 August 2010
at Longridge Point on southern James Bay. The crew returned home on 18
August. I was a volunteer surveying the endangered rufa subspecies of
the Red Knot and other shorebirds under the direction of Mark Peck of
the Royal Ontario Museum. Other crew members were Don Sutherland, Mike
McMurtry, Doug McRae, Lisa Pollock, Christian Friis and Ray Ford. Click
link at bottom for 6 pages of photos and observations from this year's
SHOREBIRD OBSERVATIONS: For most species only the high count day is
given in checklist order.
Black-bellied Plover: 71 on 15 August - all adults molting from
basic plumage. We did not see juveniles, which normally begin arriving
in James Bay in late August and early September.
American Golden-Plover: 2 on 14 August - all adults molting from
to basic plumage. Juveniles normally start arriving in James Bay in late
August and early September.
Semipalmated Plover: 176 on 15 August - 1/2 juveniles.
Killdeer: 17 on 15 August - 1/2 juveniles
Spotted Sandpiper: 17 on 15 August - 2 adults in full alternate plumage,
Greater Yellowlegs: 214 on 16 August - more than 1/2 juveniles. Adults
were molting from alternate to basic plumage. Many adults were in wing
molt suggesting that a good number of adults undergo a complete prebasic
molt in James Bay before continuing south. Of those adult shorebird
species that molt during migration, most molt only body feathers and
delay wing molt until reaching the wintering grounds.
Lesser Yellowlegs: 454 on 16 August - mostly juveniles.
Whimbrel: 14 unaged birds on 16 August.
Hudsonian Godwit: 556 molting adults on 13 August and 448 on 15 August.
No juveniles as of the 16th. They should arrive soon. Most adults depart
James Bay by early September whereas the juveniles remain well into
Marbled Godwit: 5 juveniles on 12 August were the last sightings.
Ruddy Turnstone: 994 on 16 August. Mostly adults with only a few
RED KNOT: 705 on 14 August, 1989 on 15th and 994 on 16th. Most were
adults with about 8-10% juveniles. Many adults were bright red
suggesting that they were recently arrived males from the breeding
grounds. On 15th at high tide, knots flew in late evening to the tip of
Longridge to roost for the night.
Sanderling: 153 molting adults on 15 August. First juvenile on 16
Semipalmated Sandpiper: 4300 mostly juveniles on 16 August.
WESTERN SANDPIPER? Doug McRae photographed a possible adult on 10
August. See 2 photos on page 2 of website via link below. We sent the
photos out for opinions. One reviewer said, "White-rumped is a
reasonable conclusion. I don't see anything obviously wrong. The rufous
bird in the second photo has the same bulk and same outline as the
White-rumped to its left." Readers are invited to comment. There is one
previous report of Western Sandpiper from James Bay.
Least Sandpiper: 222 on 15 August. Most were juveniles except for a few
White-rumped Sandpiper: This is most common shorebird at Longridge. 6650
molting adults on 16 August. Some recent arrivals (males?) were still in
worn alternate plumage. The west coast of James Bay is a critical
stopover site for White-rumps to fatten and molt before migrating to the
wintering grounds in southern South America. The first juveniles begin
arriving in late August.
Pectoral Sandpiper: 252 on 15 August. Pectorals are not on the tidal
mudflats. They prefer short and medium height grassy areas.
Dunlin: 141 adults on 16 August.
BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER: 1 adult on 15 August, 2 adults and 4 (first)
juveniles on 16th.
Short-billed Dowitcher: 5 juveniles on 15 August
Wilson's Snipe: 35 on 16 August.
Wilson's Phalarope: 1 molting juvenile on 15 and 16 August.
Red-necked Phalarope: 3 juveniles on 16 August.
OTHER BIRDS: Little Gull, 3 molting adults and 1 molting into second
basic plumage on 16 August. Black Tern, 1 adult on 16 August. Common and
Arctic Terns, 18 adults and juveniles on 16 August. After checking many
small terns, we conclude that Common Terns are more frequent than
previously believed. Great Horned Owl, 2 duetting on 15 and 16 August.
Common Nighthawk, 1 on 14 August. Eastern Kingbird, 3 on 16 August and 1
on 17 August. Tree Swallow, 152 on 15 August and 321 on 16 August. Bank
Swallow. 31 on 15 August and 62 on 16 August. Cliff Swallow, 18 on 15
August and 80 on 16 August. Barn Swallow, 1 on 15 and 16 August.
SWIFT, one was seen on 16 August by Doug McRae and Don Sutherland during
major swallow migration. It had a distinct whitish throat and
contrasting pale rump strongly suggesting a Vaux's Swift (no Ontario
records) from western North America. The observers are confident that it
was not a Chimney Swift, which breeds farther south in Ontario. They
will file reports with the Ontario Bird Records Committee.
HAWK FLIGHTS: Two significant flights were observed along the coast
during southwest winds on 15 and 16 August. Hawks were moving south
along Longridge Point. Northern Harrier, 12 adults and juveniles on 15
August and 11 on 16th. Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2 juveniles on 15 August and
1 juvenile on 16th. Northern Goshawk, 1 adult and 3 juveniles on 15
August. Broad-winged Hawk, 1 adult and 6 juveniles on 15 August; 15 on
16th, over half the birds seen well enough to age were juveniles.
Red-tailed Hawk, 1 adult, 2 juveniles and 1 unaged bird on 16 August.
Merlin, 13 on 16 August. Peregrine Falcon, 3 juveniles and 1 unaged bird
on 16 August.
BUTTERFLIES: One new species since last report is Hoary Comma on 15
DRAGONFLIES: Two new species since last report are Taiga Bluet and
White-faced Meadowhawk on 15 August.
ONTARIO SHOREBIRD CONSERVATION PLAN.
SNOW AND ICE COVER MAP shows James Bay reaching deep into central
MAP OF SOUTHERN JAMES BAY. Yellow pointer shows location of Longridge
Point. Ontario borders the west coast of James Bay and Quebec borders
the east coast. Provincial boundaries extend to the low water mark on
James Bay. Offshore islands extending to the low water mark are in
Nunavut Territory. The waters and seabed of James Bay are internal parts
of Canada under exclusive federal jurisdiction and not part of Ontario,
Quebec or Nunavut.
PHOTOS OF SHOREBIRDS AND SURVEYORS.
Jean Iron and Ron Pittaway