Date: 8/6/17 8:38 am From: <BFisher928...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...> Subject: IBET Re: James Bay Shorebird Report #1
Ok, so it's not in Illinois! But those of us who attended the IOS Gull frolic earlier this year got to hear Jean Iron talk about the James Bay shorebirds, so here's her first report for this 2017 season. Some of these birds may be showing up at the IOS Shorebirding weekend down around Havana - just 13 days away. Just a few of those 28 Whimbrels Jean reports would be nice! Let's hope...
Regards Bob Fisher Downers Grove DuPage
Date: Sat, 5 Aug 2017 19:27:50 -0400 From: Ron Pittaway <jeaniron...> Subject: James Bay Shorebird Report #1
This is Jean Iron's first report for the period July 29 to August 5, 2017 from Longridge Point (51.798942N, 080.69204W) on the southwest coast of James Bay in Ontario about 910 km (565 mi) north of Toronto. Two other survey crews are at Little Piskwamish and Northbluff Point. See locations on map in link #1 below. The vast tidal mudflats make James Bay one of the most important shorebird stopover sites in North America. Surveys are under the direction of Christian Friis of the Canadian Wildlife Service (Environment and Climate Change Canada) with partners Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Trent University, and Bird Studies Canada in conjunction with a larger conservation initiative involving James Bay First Nations and Nature Canada.
LONGRIDGE CREW: The 6 crew members are Anne Blondin (ON), Mark Dorriesfield (ON), Dan Froehlich (WA State), Jean Iron (ON), Nicole Richardson (ON), Kiah Walker (NH).
SHOREBIRD OBSERVATIONS: 24 species of shorebirds to date. Maximum count dates for each species listed below. Arrival dates of first juveniles also reported. Observations pertain only to Longridge Point.
Black-bellied Plover: 23 adults on Aug 3.
American Golden Plover: 1 adult on July 31.
Semipalmated Plover: 72 adults on Aug 2. First juvenile on Aug 4.
Killdeer: 5 on Aug 2, adults and juveniles.
Spotted Sandpiper: 5 juveniles on Aug 4.
Solitary Sandpiper: 1 juvenile on Aug 1.
Greater Yellowlegs: 78 mostly adults on July 31.
Lesser Yellowlegs: 105 on July 31, mostly juveniles on Aug 4.
Whimbrel: 28 on Aug 4, first juvenile on Aug 2.
Marbled Godwit: 4 on Aug 3. First juvenile on August 2. An isolated population breeds on southern James Bay. This eastern population migrates southwest to the Gulf of California, not to the Atlantic or Gulf Coasts as once believed before satellite tracking.
Hudsonian Godwit: 174 on Aug 3. First juvenile on Aug 2. After fattening most will fly non-stop to South America.
Ruddy Turnstone: 226 adults on Aug 3.
Red Knot: Endangered rufa subspecies. 279 mostly adults on Aug 4. First juveniles (3) on Aug 3, 6 on Aug 4. Adult knots fatten and undergo variable amounts of body molt before most migrate non-stop to South America. Juveniles do not molt while on James Bay.
Sanderling: 18 molting and faded adults on Aug 4.
Semipalmated Sandpiper: 4565 mostly adults on Aug 2. Proportion of juveniles increasing daily. They fatten over 2-3 weeks before making a non-stop flight of several days to northern South America. James Bay and the Bay of Fundy are the two most important stopover sites for southbound Semipalmated Sandpipers in North America.
Baird's Sandpiper: An adult and a juvenile on Aug 2.
Least Sandpiper: 49 on July 31. Now mainly juveniles.
White-rumped Sandpiper: 3242 molting adults on Aug 2. James Bay may be the most important fall staging area for this sandpiper in North America. After fattening most will overfly southern Canada and the United States going to South America.
Pectoral Sandpiper: 670 adults on Aug 4.
Dunlin: Subspecies hudsonia. 138 adults (no juveniles) on Aug 1. This subspecies molts in the north before migration which accounts for its late arrival in the south with most arriving there after mid-September.
Short-billed Dowitcher: First juveniles (5) on July 31 and 6 juveniles on Aug 2. Most adults have departed the north.
Wilson's Snipe: 2 on Aug 4.
Wilson's Phalarope: Adult male on Aug 2. A small isolated population breeds in the prairie-like marshes of James Bay.
Red-necked Phalarope: One juvenile on Aug 2 and 4th.
HUDSON BAY LOWLANDS REPORT: Rod Brook (MNRF) reports a good breeding season for Canada Geese (subspecies interior) and Lesser Snow Geese on Akimiski Island in Nunavut and in northern Ontario. He also reports that Whimbrels had a good breeding season at Burntpoint on the Hudson Bay Coast. Rod and Glen Brown (CWS) are now studying the effects of climate change on permafrost along the coast.
OTHER BIRD HIGHLIGHTS: Black Scoter: 1501 mostly molting adult males on Aug 3, females with broods inland. Northern Goshawk: 1 on Aug 4. YELLOW RAIL: 1 ticking on July 31, dry summer may account for low number. American White Pelican: 13 on Aug 4. Sandhill Crane: 23 on July 31. Bonaparte's Gull 940 adults on Aug 3 starting to molt hoods plus 20 juveniles. Northern Shrike: juvenile seen. Canada Jay: 3 regulars. Boreal Chickadee: 3 on July 31. LeConte's Sparrow: 4 on Aug 3 still singing. Nelson's Sparrow (subspecies alter): 15 on Aug 2 still singing.
MAMMALS: Harbor Seal on July 31. Beluga (White Whale) dead on beach. Pine Marten, Striped Skunk and Snowshoe Hare around camp. Black Bear with 2 cubs on Aug 3. Polar Bears (1 at Longridge last summer) are rare south of Akimiski Island (see map link) where the world's most southerly population spends the summer. Jean sent this message the evening of Aug 3, "walking to cabin from kitchen tent saw bright shining eyes staring at me, not a small animal." The cabins are protected by an electric fence.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Survey camps are rented from the Moose Cree First Nation. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) provides accommodations in the staff house while crews are in Moosonee. Thanks to Rod Brook of MNRF for logistical support. MNRF helicopter pilot Dan Ireland transported crews from Moosonee to and from the camps. Jean thanks an anonymous donor for financial assistance.
This is Jean's 14th summer surveying birds in the Hudson Bay Lowlands including her 9th consecutive year surveying shorebirds on James Bay.
Second report in 7 days.
Ron Pittaway Toronto, Ontario Canada
End of SHOREBIRDS Digest - 2 Mar 2017 to 5 Aug 2017 (#2017-6) *************************************************************