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SHOREBIRDS  August 2014

SHOREBIRDS August 2014

Subject:

Re: James Bay Shorebirds - Little Piskwamish Report #2

From:

norman deans van swelm <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

norman deans van swelm <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 12 Aug 2014 14:03:34 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (243 lines)

Hi Ron & all,
Thank you for sending Jean's fine reports. May I point at Vincent Legrands 
website which contains many photographs taken in the Azores which is a 
heaven for
Europeans to see American birds as you know. Vincent shows a picture of an 
adult Knot taken in July.Can you or anyone else confirm that this bird of 
the race rufa please?Here is the ling:



    http://www.vincentlegrand.com/#!album-32-20



All the best, Norman



Ron Pittaway  relays:> This is Jean Iron's second report for the period 4 - 
10 August 2014 from
> Little Piskwamish Point on the southwestern coast of James Bay in Ontario,
> Canada. See map link #2 below. Surveys are conducted under the direction 
> of
> Christian Friis of the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) and Mark Peck of 
> the
> Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and their partners the Ontario Ministry of
> Natural Resources (OMNR), Bird Studies Canada, Nature Canada and Moose 
> Cree
> First Nation. The Little Piskwamish crew comprises Mark Peck (crew 
> leader),
> James Kennerley from UK, Brendan Kelly from NL, Jean Iron, Eleanor 
> Zurbrigg,
> Doug McRae, Lisa Pollock and Hellen Fu. Darrell Isaac and Jeffrey Isaac 
> from
> Moose Factory First Nation arrived on August 4 to assist with the survey.
> Two other crews are based at North Point and Longridge Point.
>
> JAMES BAY: Ontario's coastline of James Bay measures about 560 kilometres 
> or
> 350 miles. The west coast is extremely flat and intersected by several 
> large
> rivers and many streams. The southern coast is characterized by long 
> narrow
> promontories, wide tidal flats, shoals, sandy bays, extensive brackish
> marshes and pools. It's a shorebird paradise of great conservation 
> concern.
>
> SHOREBIRD MIGRATION CHRONOLOGY: Most (not all) southbound shorebirds 
> migrate
> in three waves: adult females first, adult males second, juveniles last.
>
> SHOREBIRD OBSERVATIONS: The maximum counts and dates for each species are
> reported below. Reports pertain to Little Piskwamish at Lat 51.655515 N, 
> Lon
> -80.57167 W.
>
> THREE HIGHEST TOTAL DAILY COUNTS: 18635 shorebirds on July 31, 15530 on 
> Aug
> 3 and 13812 on Aug 4.
>
> Black-bellied Plover: 57 molting adults on Aug 6.
>
> Semipalmated Plover: 60 adults on Aug 6, 1 juvenile on 9th.
>
> Killdeer: 4 adults and 3 juveniles on Aug 6.
>
> Spotted Sandpiper: first juvenile on Aug 5 and 2 juveniles on 8th.
>
> Solitary Sandpiper: 4 adults on Aug 4 and 2 juveniles on 5th.
>
> Greater Yellowlegs: 270 on Aug 6, 75% juveniles on 9th. Unlike most
> shorebirds, some Greaters undergo both body and wing molt at James Bay
> before continuing migration.
>
> Lesser Yellowlegs: 137 on Aug 6. Almost all now are juveniles.
>
> Whimbrel: 9 on Aug 3.
>
> Hudsonian Godwit: 167 molting adults on Aug 4. One red flag OEM from Chile
> on Aug 5. Another with red flag JK from Chile on Aug 9. Most adult 
> Hudsonian
> Godwits molt body feathers while at James Bay before departing in late Aug
> and early Sept with most going nonstop to South America.
>
> Marbled Godwit: 1 juvenile on Aug 7 and 2 juveniles on 8th. The estimated
> disjunct James Bay population is 2000 birds. Most adults depart in late
> July. The wintering grounds of James Bay birds were unknown until 
> recently.
> Birds fitted with satellite transmitters on Akimiski Island in 2007 and 
> 2008
> went southwest to winter along the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez) in
> Mexico. Previously it was thought that James Bay godwits wintered on the
> south Atlantic Coast of the United States, which is much closer to James
> Bay.
>
> Ruddy Turnstone: 23 on Aug 6.
>
> RED KNOT: Highest daily count was 1670 adults on Aug 6. First 3 juvenile
> knots on Aug 8. Flag re-sightings are currently about 1400 so Mark Peck is
> very happy. Knot numbers this year are similar to most previous summers.
> Mark estimates that about 5000 adult knots are using Little Piskwamish 
> this
> summer making it one of the most important southbound sites for the
> endangered rufa subspecies in North America. One knot with a white flag 
> ALH
> was banded on the Mingan Archipelago on the north shore of the Gulf of St.
> Lawrence in Quebec. Mingan is the other major southbound staging area for
> knots in Eastern Canada, but there is virtually no mixing of birds between
> there and James Bay. The knots are fat and in excellent condition. They 
> will
> soon fly nonstop to South America. Knots that fail to gain adequate weight
> suffer reduced survival.
>
> Sanderling: 4 molting adults on Aug 4.
>
> Semipalmated Sandpiper: 7000 on Aug 4. Very few juveniles to date but
> increasing. Both adults and juveniles are being fitted with nano-tags. 
> This
> peep has declined very significantly in recent years. See SHOREBIRD
> CONSERVATION NOTE below.
>
> Least Sandpiper: 170 on 7th. Almost all were juveniles. The switchover 
> from
> adults to juveniles was rapid.
>
> White-rumped Sandpiper: 5900 molting and fattening adults on Aug 6.
>
> Pectoral Sandpiper: 100 on Aug 8.
>
> Dunlin: Dunlin 800 adults on Aug 8. Thousands of Dunlins (subspecies
> hudsonia) stage in James Bay. Adults undergo a complete (wings/tail/body)
> prebasic molt and juveniles undergo a partial (body) preformative molt
> before both age classes resume migration about mid-September and later. 
> This
> is the reason that North American Dunlins are very rare south of the
> subarctic until much later than most other shorebirds.
>
> Stilt Sandpiper: 1 juvenile on 9 Aug.
>
> Short-billed Sandpiper: 1 juvenile 9 Aug.
>
> Wilson's Phalarope: 1 juvenile on Aug 6 and 9th. Small numbers breed in 
> the
> vast prairie-like marshes of James Bay.
>
> Red-necked Phalarope: 4 juveniles on Aug 7.
>
> OTHER BIRDS: Canada Goose, 460 flying over on Aug 5. American Wigeon, 5 on
> Aug 4. American Black Duck, 98 on Aug 6. Mallard, 82 on Aug 8. Northern
> Pintail, 105 on Aug 7. Green-winged Teal, 56 on Aug 6. Ring-necked Duck, 1
> on Aug 6. Scaup species, 6 on Aug 1. Common Goldeneye, 18 on Aug 6. Hooded
> Merganser, 5 on Aug 9. Common Merganser, 2 on Aug 4. Red-breasted 
> Merganser,
> 1 on Aug 7. Black Scoter, large raft of 4000 mostly molting males on Aug 
> 5.
> Common Loon, 6 on Aug 6. Pied-billed Grebe, 1 juvenile on Aug 6. American
> White Pelican, 16 on Aug 4. American Bittern, 2 on Aug 6. Great Blue 
> Heron,
> 1 juvenile. Osprey, 4 on Aug 6. Bald Eagle, a few adults and immatures in
> area. Northern Goshawk, 2 adults on Aug 5. Merlin, 3 on Aug 6. Yellow 
> Rail,
> 3 on Aug 8. Sora, 2 on Aug 5. Sandhill Crane, 28 on Aug 7. Bonaparte's 
> Gull,
> 631 mostly molting adults, juveniles increasing. Little Gull, 2 molting
> adults on Aug 10, 1 molting to second winter plumage on Aug 7 and 8. Great
> Horned Owl, 1 heard on Aug 7 and 8th. Long-eared Owl, 1 heard on Aug 5 and
> 6th. Common Raven, 22 on Aug 5. American Crow, 5 on Aug 6. Black-capped
> Chickadee, 4 on Aug 3. Boreal Chickadee, 3 on Aug 8. Horned Lark, 1 on Aug 
> 7
> and 8th. Tree Swallow, 66 on Aug 4. Alder Flycatcher, 8 on Aug 4. 
> Nashville
> Warbler, 1 on Aug 4. Tennessee Warbler, 3 on Aug 4. Yellow-rumped Warbler,
> 80 on Aug 6. Palm Warbler, 1 on Aug 4. American Redstart, 1 on Aug 9. 
> Common
> Yellowthroat, 4 on Aug 3. Wilson's Warbler, 4 on Aug 6. Northern
> Waterthrush, 7 on Aug 4. Yellow Warbler, 12 on Aug 4. Savannah Sparrow, 65
> on Aug 7. Le Conte's, 3 on Aug 4 - 7th. Nelson's Sparrow (daily) with 4 on
> Aug 8. Fox Sparrow, 1 on Aug 4. Song Sparrow, 40 on Aug 6. Lincoln's
> Sparrow, 10 on Aug 4. Swamp Sparrow, 13 on Aug 6. Dark-eyed Junco, 2 on 
> Aug
> 9. Red-winged Blackbird, 200 on Aug 8. Rusty Blackbird, 1 on Aug 6.
> White-winged Crossbill, 145 on Aug 1, 105 on Aug 4, 80 on 8th. Common
> Redpoll, 3 juveniles on Aug 6. Pine Siskin, 2 on Aug 5.
>
> SHOREBIRD CONSERVATION NOTE: I've copied the following email from Ken
> Abraham (emeritus OMNR Research Scientist) with his permission. "See the
> article linked below on tracking Semipalmated Sandpipers with geolocators.
> Note that the bird highlighted in the article spent a month (21 July to 22
> August 2013) in James Bay on its southern migration and a week (2 June to 
> 10
> June 2014) in James Bay on its spring migration. The other significant 
> (and
> remarkable, almost unbelievable) finding is that it flew non-stop for 6 
> days
> from James Bay to Brazil (i.e., it did not go to the Bay of Fundy) which
> underlines even more the importance of the James Bay coastline for feeding
> and energy acquisition. It's not often we get this kind of information on
> the conservation importance of a site before there is an imminent threat 
> of
> its loss due to some development. We should make the most of this
> information in our quest to get the area designated as a protected area."
> See link.
> #1. http://bit.ly/1urNasi
>
> Map of survey locations.
> #2. http://www.jeaniron.ca/2014/JB14/map.htm
>
> Population Estimates of North American Shorebirds 2012.
> #3. http://www.jeaniron.ca/2013/ShorebirdPop2012.pdf
>
> Southbound Shorebirds: Some basic facts.
> #4. http://www.ofo.ca/site/page/view/articles.southboundshorebirds
>
> ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: The Western James Bay Shorebird Survey is a cooperative
> effort of the Canadian Wildlife Service, Royal Ontario Museum , Ontario
> Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR), Bird Studies Canada, Nature Canada 
> and
> Moose Cree First Nation. Survey camps are rented from the Moose Cree First
> Nation. The OMNR provides accommodations in the staffhouse while crews are
> in Moosonee. Thanks to Rod Brook, Sarah Hagey and Kim Bennett of OMNR for
> logistical support. This project would not be possible without the many 
> long
> days of dedicated volunteer effort. Jean thanks an anonymous donor for
> financial assistance to the program.
>
> NOTE: This is Jean's sixth consecutive year surveying southbound 
> shorebirds
> on James Bay. Little Piskwamish is a new location for her. The crew will 
> be
> coming out on Wednesday August 13 (weather permitting for chopper) except
> for Lisa Pollock who's staying with next crew and Doug McRae who's going 
> to
> North Point with a new crew there. The crew hopes to get out early enough 
> to
> take the train on Wednesday from Moosonee to Cochrane. Then the 8 hour 
> drive
> home on Thursday. Jean will post a third report with a link to survey 
> photos
> on her website within 10 days.
>
> Ron Pittaway
> Toronto, Ontario
> Canada

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