[Ontbirds]nw shoreline of Lake Ontario: Whimbrel update & synopsis.

Wayne Renaud wayne at renaudwebber.com
Sat May 26 08:47:30 EDT 2007


On a clearer and cooling morning, I made the morning trek to CSSP  in a last
ditch erfort to see if there were yet more Whimbrels passing through ... it
paid off with another 436 this morning between 5:30 and 5:56 [groups of 3
and 7 on rocky rip-rap at 5:30; 350 + 45 passing a half km. offshore heading
wnw over the lake at 5:35; 6 and 8 overhead from sw to ne at 5:40; 17 overhead
from se to nw at 5:56].   I left the area at 7:00 a.m. at which time at least 8
birders were still on the lookout for more birds.  David Hallett and I had a
flock of 40 Whimbrels flying north over Rattray Marsh at 6:00 pm yesterday (25
May).  

According to my notes and postings by others the total count of Whimbrels
from Colonel Sam Smith Park,Etobicoke to Rattray Marsh, Mississauga from 14
May when I saw my first flock to this morning stands at 7,082. The value of
this documented total and high day count on 23 May of over 3000 cannot be
underplayed ... but much more work needs to be done to further document the
exact numbers passing.  Several others, among them Jean Iron and Richard
Joos, and I strongly believe a more concerted effort should be organized
next year to monitor the Whimbrel migration continuously from dawn to dusk
from CSSP from 22 to 26 May.   If people can stand for hours and hours over
weeks and weeks at the hawk watches ... why can't they stand for 5 days
watching for Whimbrels?

As far as I know actual numbers like this have not been recorded in the
Great Lakes basin and rarely even on the Pacific flyway (max.: Brawley,
Imperial,CA,  3 My 1990  3000+  McCaskie (1990).  The exact size of the
eastern arctic breeding population which migrates north from winter areas in
nw south american via coastal Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia then via
the great lakes basin to breeding areas in nw Ontario and n Manitoba is
still uncertain with the best estimates for the major staging area Virginia.
In 2001 surveys conducted by the Chincoteague Natural History Association
estimated  40,000 along the Virginia coast (Chincoteague Natural History
Association at http//www.assateague.org/plover/3-96 c.html at 9 November 2001).
Only in the central flyway along coastal Texas have higher record day counts
( Anuhac NWR   21 Ap 2005  5127 Lockwood et al 2005).

>Directions:
>Kipling runs directly into Colonel Sam Smith Park and adjacent Humber College
Lakeshore campus, located west of Islington and east of Brown's Line south
of the Q.E.W.
>
>Wayne Renaud
>905.274.7103 or 905.278.5813
>wayne at renaudwebber.com 


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