[Ontbirds]Long-billed Dowitcher at Townsend
jeaniron at sympatico.ca
Sun Aug 22 20:04:47 EDT 2004
This morning (Sunday) Kevin McLaughlin, Andrew Jano and I saw a Long-billed
Dowitcher at the Townsend Sewage Lagoons. It was an adult in mostly worn
breeding plumage. It had a gray face and upper throat (new basic
feathering) which is typical of many Longbills beginning their definitive
prebasic (postbreeding) molt. We were able to identify this bird by plumage
characters, but I was pleased to hear its diagnostic call several times. If
you see an adult dowitcher or molting one at this time of year, it is
likely a Longbill. Adult Shortbills (hendersoni subspecies) are rare after
mid-August in Ontario and they don't molt in Ontario and probably not until
they reach the wintering grounds, unlike Longbills.
Other shorebirds at Townsend:
Semipalmated Plover, 10 adults and 1 juvenile. This afternoon we had 2
adults and 2 juveniles at Rock Point Provincial Park.
Short-billed Dowitchers, 4 juveniles which is a typical count for this time
Stilt Sandpiper, 1 juvenile
Baird's Sandpiper, 6 juveniles. We also had another 5 juvenile Baird's at
Rock Point this afternoon. Yesterday, 24 juvenile Baird's were reported at
Presqu'ile. Today at least 22 juvenile Baird's were seen near Ottawa. These
are high numbers of juveniles suggesting an excellent breeding year.
Pectoral Sandpiper, about 20 adults and 1 juvenile (our first of the year).
A normal ratio for this date. The first juveniles are just arriving.
Least Sandpiper, 1 adult and about 30 juveniles. A normal ratio for this date.
Semiplamated Sandpiper, 1 adult and 10 juveniles. At Rock Point we had 2
adults and 3 juveniles. These numbers are many fewer than previous weeks
with most adults having departed and a poor showing of juveniles. Usually
at this time of year, juvenile Semipalmated Sandpipers are the commonest
shorebird, greatly outnumbering all other shorebirds.
*Other birding listserves in various provinces and states are reporting
numbers and ratios of adult and juvenile shorebirds. In a month or two
we'll have a better knowledge of the nesting success of northern shorebirds
this year. If you're reporting the ages of shorebirds, please don't guess.
Better to say that you're uncertain. The 4th edition (black cover) of the
National Geographic Guide (2002) and the Sibley Guide (2000) are both
excellent for aging shorebirds. A scope is recommended too.
**Cattle Egret: Kevin and I saw the Cattle Egret with cattle about6 4:00 pm
near Rock Point at the corner of King Road and Regional Road 3 east of
Minden and Toronto
E-mail: jeaniron at sympatico.ca
P.S. Jean is in England and Wales visiting relatives. She's also studying
and photographing European gulls and shorebirds. So far she's seen
Mediterranean Gulls, Yellow-legged Gulls, Common Gulls, and lots of
European Herring Gulls and Lesser Black-backed Gulls of all ages. Great
preparation for the OFO gull trip to Niagara this fall.
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