[Ontbirds] James Bay Shorebirds - Hannah Bay #2

Jean Iron jeaniron at sympatico.ca
Fri Jul 26 17:41:36 EDT 2013

This is Jean Iron's second report by satellite phone for the period 21 - 25
July 2013 from East Point on Hannah Bay, Ontario, on the south coast of
James Bay. Hannah Bay is a new site to survey the shorebirds using
southwestern James Bay. The Hannah Bay crew comprises Christian Friis,
shorebird biologist with the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) and volunteers
Jean Iron and Antonio Coral. Two other crews are at Longridge Point and
Little Piskwamish Point. A separate summary for Longridge marked with a
*star is included below. See map link below for survey locations. 

The Hannah Bay camp is on a pristine wilderness coast with no human debris
or flotsam that is frequent on most sea coasts and the Great Lakes. The
surveyors have not seen any people since arriving on 14 July.

SHOREBIRDS: 22 species to date. The high count and date for each species are
given for the count period. All migrant shorebirds so far have been adults.
The absence of juveniles for some species such as Lesser Yellowlegs and
Least Sandpiper, and reports from farther north suggest a late breeding
season in 2013. 

Black-bellied Plover: 17 on 25 July.

Semipalmated Plover: 25 on 25 July.

Killdeer: 8 on 24 July.

Spotted Sandpiper: 1 on 24 July.

Greater Yellowlegs: 437 on 22 July.

Lesser Yellowlegs: 999 on 22 July.

Whimbrel: 45 on 22 July.

Hudsonian Godwit: 463 on 22 July.

Marbled Godwit: 55 on 24 July.

Ruddy Turnstone: 34 on 25 July.

RED KNOT: None during this period indicates that Hannah Bay is not a staging
area for knots. See numbers at Longridge below.

Sanderling: 12 on 25 July. 

Semipalmated Sandpiper: 12,650 on 21 July. 

Least Sandpiper: 181 migrant adults on 20 July.

White-rumped Sandpiper: 125 on 21 July.

Pectoral Sandpiper: 489 on 22 July.

Dunlin: 4 on 21 July.

Stilt Sandpiper: 5 on 21 July.

Short-billed Dowitcher: 11 on 21 July. Most were the subspecies hendersoni.

Wilson's Snipe: 7 on the 21 July.

Wilson's Phalarope: 2 on 22 July.

*LONGRIDGE SUMMARY (high counts only) fide Stuart Mackenzie: Black-bellied
Plover, 7 on 22 July. Semipalmated Plover, 31 on 22 July. Greater
Yellowlegs, 307 on 23 July. Lesser Yellowlegs, 138 on 21 July. Whimbrel, 130
on 17 July. Hudsonian Godwit, 400 on 25 July. Marbled Godwit, 3 on 17 July.
Ruddy Turnstone, 209 on 22 July. Sanderling, 9 on 25 July. RED KNOT, >1000
birds present since 18 July, high of 1500 on 25th, slowly building with >200
tags read. Semipalmated Sandpiper, 1100 on 21 July. Least Sandpiper, 85 on
18 July, <30 since. White-rumped Sandpiper, 450 on 21 and 22 July. Pectoral
Sandpiper, 270 on 21 July. Short-billed Dowitcher, 4 on 17 July. Red-necked
Phalarope, 1. Singles of Arctic Tern, more Common Terns. Bonaparte's Gull,
adult numbers building, juvenile on 19 July. Parasitic Jaegers, 2 adults
hunting shorebirds. Yellow Rails, 6 around camp. 12 Nelson's and 2 Le
Conte's Sparrows around camp. Clay-colored Sparrow, 1 on 22 July. 

OTHER HANNAH BAY BIRDS in no particular order: GRAY CATBIRD on 25 July. No
Yellow Rails. A Sora on 24 and 25 July in cattails. 16 species of waterfowl
including 8 Redheads on 21 July, Northern Shoveler and Blue-winged Teal.
American White Pelican, 4 on 24 July. Pair of Northern Harriers on
territory. Peregrine Falcon, adult on 21 July. Merlin chasing shorebirds on
24 July. Common Nighthawk flying southeast on 25 July. Blue-headed Vireo.
Philadelphia Vireo. Red-eyed Vireo. Gray Jay, 2 adults on 25 July. Boreal
Chickadee on 26 July. Brown Creeper on 25 July. Winter Wren. Golden-crowned
Kinglet. Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Nashville Warbler. Magnolia Warbler.
Yellow-rumped Warbler. Le Conte's Sparrow, 1 singing on 24 July. Nelson's
Sparrow, 14 singing on 24 July. Common Grackle on 24 July. White-winged
Crossbill, 13 on 22 July. Pine Siskin, 3 on 24 July.

MAMMALS: Black Bear, 2 on 25 July. Hannah Bay is south of the normal range
of Polar Bears which are rare south of Akimiski Island. See map link. Deer
Mouse and a vole sp. in cabin.

BUTTERFLIES: Old World Swallowtails on host plant, Scotch Lovage. Pink-edged
Sulphur. Bronze Cooper. Northern Spring Azure. Atlantis Fritillary. Northern
Crescent. White Admiral. Viceroy. Common Ringlet (abundant). Long Dash.

WILDFLOWERS (some): Balsam Ragwort. Labrador Indian Paintbrush. Northern
Grass-of-Parnassus. Labrador Tea. Large-flowered Wintergreen. Twinflower.

Map of survey sites on southern James Bay.

Snow/Ice Cover Map

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: The Western James Bay Shorebird Survey is a cooperative
effort spearheaded by the Canadian Wildlife Service, Royal Ontario Museum ,
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR), Bird Studies Canada and Moose
Cree First Nation. Additional support for the 2013 expedition was provided
by TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. The OMNR also provides
helicopter transport to and from field camps and accommodations in the staff
house while crews are in Moosonee. Thanks to Ken Abraham, Rod Brook, Sarah
Hagey and Kim Bennett of OMNR for logistical support. Jean thanks an
anonymous donor for financial assistance allowing her to make satellite
phone calls to me so timely reports are available on the Ontbirds and
Shorebirds listservs. Lastly, without the many hours of dedicated volunteer
support, this project would not be possible.

Jean's third report will be in 7 - 10 days.

Ron Pittaway
Toronto, Ontario

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