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
dult Knot taken in July.Can you or anyone else confirm that this bird
the race rufa please? Here is the link:
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
>> Canada. See map link #2 below. Surveys are conducted under the direction
>> Christian Friis of the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) and Mark Peck of
>> Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and their partners the Ontario Ministry of
>> Natural Resources (OMNR), Bird Studies Canada, Nature Canada and Moose
>> First Nation. The Little Piskwamish crew comprises Mark Peck (crew
>> James Kennerley from UK, Brendan Kelly from NL, Jean Iron, Eleanor
>> Doug McRae, Lisa Pollock and Hellen Fu. Darrell Isaac and Jeffrey Isaac
>> 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
>> 350 miles. The west coast is extremely flat and intersected by several
>> rivers and many streams. The southern coast is characterized by long
>> promontories, wide tidal flats, shoals, sandy bays, extensive brackish
>> marshes and pools. It's a shorebird paradise of great conservation
>> SHOREBIRD MIGRATION CHRONOLOGY: Most (not all) southbound shorebirds
>> 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,
>> -80.57167 W.
>> THREE HIGHEST TOTAL DAILY COUNTS: 18635 shorebirds on July 31, 15530 on
>> 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
>> on Aug 5. Another with red flag JK from Chile on Aug 9. Most adult
>> Godwits molt body feathers while at James Bay before departing in late
>> 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
>> Birds fitted with satellite transmitters on Akimiski Island in 2007 and
>> 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
>> 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
>> very happy. Knot numbers this year are similar to most previous summers.
>> Mark estimates that about 5000 adult knots are using Little Piskwamish
>> summer making it one of the most important southbound sites for the
>> endangered rufa subspecies in North America. One knot with a white flag
>> was banded on the Mingan Archipelago on the north shore of the Gulf of
>> Lawrence in Quebec. Mingan is the other major southbound staging area for
>> knots in Eastern Canada, but there is virtually no mixing of birds
>> there and James Bay. The knots are fat and in excellent condition. They
>> soon fly nonstop to South America. Knots that fail to gain adequate
>> 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.
>> peep has declined very significantly in recent years. See SHOREBIRD
>> CONSERVATION NOTE below.
>> Least Sandpiper: 170 on 7th. Almost all were juveniles. The switchover
>> 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.
>> 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
>> 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
>> 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,
>> on Aug 6. Scaup species, 6 on Aug 1. Common Goldeneye, 18 on Aug 6.
>> Merganser, 5 on Aug 9. Common Merganser, 2 on Aug 4. Red-breasted
>> 1 on Aug 7. Black Scoter, large raft of 4000 mostly molting males on Aug
>> 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
>> 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
>> 3 on Aug 8. Sora, 2 on Aug 5. Sandhill Crane, 28 on Aug 7. Bonaparte's
>> 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.
>> Horned Owl, 1 heard on Aug 7 and 8th. Long-eared Owl, 1 heard on Aug 5
>> 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.
>> Warbler, 1 on Aug 4. Tennessee Warbler, 3 on Aug 4. Yellow-rumped
>> 80 on Aug 6. Palm Warbler, 1 on Aug 4. American Redstart, 1 on Aug 9.
>> 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,
>> on Aug 7. Le Conte's, 3 on Aug 4 - 7th. Nelson's Sparrow (daily) with 4
>> 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
>> 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
>> Note that the bird highlighted in the article spent a month (21 July to
>> August 2013) in James Bay on its southern migration and a week (2 June to
>> June 2014) in James Bay on its spring migration. The other significant
>> remarkable, almost unbelievable) finding is that it flew non-stop for 6
>> 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
>> 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
>> 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
>> Moose Cree First Nation. Survey camps are rented from the Moose Cree
>> Nation. The OMNR provides accommodations in the staffhouse while crews
>> 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
>> 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
>> on James Bay. Little Piskwamish is a new location for her. The crew will
>> 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
>> North Point with a new crew there. The crew hopes to get out early enough
>> take the train on Wednesday from Moosonee to Cochrane. Then the 8 hour
>> home on Thursday. Jean will post a third report with a link to survey
>> on her website within 10 days.
>> Ron Pittaway
>> Toronto, Ontario