Below are 5 reports posted to Ontbirds and Shorebirds listservs.


James Bay Report # 1 on 16 July 2009


Jean Iron phoned me this morning from Moosonee before flying out to the James Bay coast. A crew headed by Mark Peck of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) will be surveying migrating shorebirds with a particular focus on Red Knots. Jean is a volunteer with the ROM. The crew comprises Mark Peck, Amy Whitear, Gerry Binsfeld, Doug McRae, Don Shanahan and Jean Iron. This morning (16 July) they flew by helicopter to Longridge Point about 60 km north of Moosonee on the southwestern coast of James Bay. They are camping and surveying there until 3 August. See map link below.


Waterfowl: A poor nesting season for Canada Geese (subspecies interior); small flocks of molting male Mallards and male Northern Pintails along coast south of Attawapiskat; small flocks of molting male Black Scoters at several locations long coast.

American White Pelican: 16 at Longridge Point in early July by Don Sutherland et al. 150 on coast south of Attawapiskat on 15 July by Stacy Gan et al. This species has recently expanded its range to James Bay and first found breeding there in 2006. Numbers are increasing.

Great Egret: 1 in coastal marsh just south of North Bluff Point by Don Sutherland et al. Well north of normal range.

Bald Eagle: 7 south of Attawapiskat on 15 July by Stacy Gan et al.

Nonbreeding eagles, mostly Balds, are now summering along the Hudson and James Bay coasts presumably preying on abundant Snow and Canada Geese.

Golden Eagle: adult south of Attawapiskat on 15 July by Stacy Gan et al. 

Yellow Rail: ROM crews (Mark Peck et al.) from 1 - 11 July found 300+ birds including 5 seen in sedge marshes at 5 survey sites along coast between the Quebec border to Attawapiskat. 

Virginia Rail: at least 2 calling in early July in coastal cattail marsh south of North Bluff Point by Don Sutherland et al. Well north of normal range.

Sora: heard at North Bluff Point by Don Sutherland et al. This rail is regular and probably widely distributed in the Hudson Bay Lowlands.

Sandhill Crane: common

Shorebird Migration: only small numbers of southbound adults reported to date possibly due to a delayed onset of nesting because of below normal temperatures in May and June and a late snow melt. Numbers of adults expected to increase soon. Juveniles to follow in August.

Hudsonian Godwit: 60 adults along coast south of Attawapiskat on 15 July fide Stacy Gan et al.

Marbled Godwit: One in early July in vast graminoid peatland 10+ km inland from Hannah Bay by Don Sutherland et al. 20 adults along coast south of Attawapiskat on 15 July fide Stacy Gan et al.

Little Gull: Five adults, some performing courtship flight displays, in coastal fen southeast of Moosonee by Don Sutherland et al. Most Little Gulls in North America probably breed in the Hudson Bay Lowlands between Moosonee and Churchill, Manitoba. 

Black Tern: scattered sightings along coast at North Point and Fort Albany.

Great Black-backed Gull: mostly immatures in various plumages at several sites by Don Sutherland et al.

Great Gray Owl: 1 in early July between Moosonee and James Bay by Don Sutherland et al.

Eastern Kingbird: 1 in early July south of North Bluff Point by Don Sutherland et al. Well north of normal range.

Swallows: Tree, Cliff, and Barn Swallows all fairly common flying over Moose River in Moosonee on 14 July. 

Wood Thrush: A male singing in riparian willow thickets south of Fort Albany from 3 - 10 July by ROM crew. Well north of normal range.

Gray Catbird: A male singing in early July in willow thickets on an island at mouth of the Harricanaw River by Don Sutherland et al. Well north of normal range.

Northern Mockingbird: one (very rare) in Moosonee seen by ROM group on 15 July.

Clay-colored Sparrow: 5 sightings in willow scrub along coast. This species is regular in the coastal strip along James and Hudson Bays in Ontario.

Le Conte's Sparrow: fairly common, but less so than Nelson's Sparrows, and on drier sites than Nelson's along coast.

Nelson's Sparrow (subspecies alterus): common along coast in same sedge marsh habitats as Yellow Rails.

Winter Finches: Don Sutherland et al. in early July observed White-winged Crossbills every day, usually in flocks of 15 - 30, but several larger flocks of more than 100 birds; small flocks of Common Redpolls at several sites; Pine Siskins were seen most days; and Purple Finches were widespread and singing; no Pine Grosbeaks observed. 

Map link below of southern James Bay. Note yellow marker showing location of Longridge Point where the ROM group is camped. Ontario borders the west coast of James Bay and Quebec borders the east coast. However, the provincial boundaries extend only to the high water marks on James Bay. Offshore islands are in Nunavut Territory whereas the waters and seabed of James Bay are under federal jurisdiction.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to Mark Peck of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and Don Sutherland and Stacy Gan of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR). Thanks also to the other ROM and OMNR crew members (sorry if your names were omitted) who surveyed Yellow Rails and Species At Risk in early July.

Jean will be calling me by satellite phone from Longridge and I'll post several updates over the next three weeks.

 Ron Pittaway, Minden and Toronto ON


James Bay Report # 2 on 18 July 2009


Jean Iron called me on Saturday (18 July) evening by satellite phone from Longridge Point on southern James Bay. She is with a crew of six headed by Mark Peck of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) surveying migrating shorebirds, particularly Red Knots of the subspecies rufa, which is listed as endangered in Canada. Rufa has declined 70% during the last 15 years. Longridge was chosen as the ROM's survey site because significant numbers of Red Knots have been recorded there in the past. The extensive tidal flats and wide coastal marshes of southern James Bay provide abundant wetland habitats making it one of the most important shorebird staging areas in North America. Its importance has been compared to the upper Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick.

SHOREBIRDS: no migrant juvenile shorebirds recorded as of 18 July.

Black-bellied Plover: 3 adults on 17 July and 2 on 18th.

Semipalmated Plover: 4 adults on 17 July.

Killdeer: 1 on 18 July.

Spotted Sandpiper: 1 on 17 July.

Solitary Sandpiper: 3 adults on 17 and 1 on 18th

Greater Yellowlegs: 222 adults on 17 and 118 on 18th.

Lesser Yellowlegs: 459 adults on 17 July and 306 on 18th.

Whimbrel: 15 adults on 17 July and 11 on 18th.

Hudsonian Godwit: 102 adults on 17 July and 104 on 18th.

Marbled Godwit: 1 adult on 17 July. An isolated population of about 1500 Marbled Godwits breeds in James Bay in wide coastal marshes, which are very prairie-like.

Ruddy Turnstone: 10 adults on 17 July and 12 on 18th.

Red Knot: 200 adults of 17 July and 157 on 18th. Knots are in the beginning stages of prebasic molt. 25 colour marked knots were observed including birds banded in Delaware Bay, Florida, Argentina and Chile.

Sanderling: 15 adults on 17 July and 61 on 18th.

Semipalmated Sandpiper: 185 adults on 17 July and 207 on 18th. Numbers should increase soon.

Least Sandpiper: 111 adults on 17 July and 31 on 18th.

White-rumped Sandpiper: 1 molting adult on 17 July and 1 on 18th. Numbers should increase soon.

Pectoral Sandpiper: 6 adults on 17 July and 17 on 18th. This species does not molt during fall migration.

Dunlin: 1 adult on 17 July and 3 on 18th.

Curlew Sandpiper: An adult male found by Doug McRae on 17 July. It is bright individual beginning prebasic molt.

Short-billed Dowitcher: 6 adults on 17 July and 3 on 18th. Most were of the nominate subspecies griseus, which nests mainly in northern Quebec, but some breed west to James Bay.

Wilson's Snipe: 4 on 17 July and 2 on 18th. 


Pacific Loon: 1 adult on 18 July found by Mark Peck. 

Black Guillemot: 1 adult on 18 July found by Mark Peck.

Merlin: 2 around camp.

Yellow Rail: many "clicking" in coastal sedge marsh.

Gray Jay: 1 adult with 2 blackish juveniles in spruce forest south of camp. Juvenile Gray Jays differ so much from adults that they were once thought to be a separate species. Juveniles molt into adult-like plumage mainly in August.

Le Conte's Sparrow: fairly common. This sparrow also breeds at many inland areas across northern Ontario.

Nelson's Sparrow: common in extensive coastal grass/sedge wetlands. The breeding subspecies alterus is often called the James Bay Sparrow. It is the more frequent of the two subspecies (alterus and nominate nelsoni) seen in migration in southern Ontario.

White-winged Crossbill: 156, these birds are on the move looking for maturing cone crops and probably will nest in late summer in northern Ontario if they find abundant spruce crops.

Map link shows considerable ice in James and Hudson Bays.

Reference: Wilson, N.C. and D. McRae. 1993. Seasonal and Geographical Distribution of Birds for Selected Sites in Ontario's Hudson Bay Lowland. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 145 pages.

Jean will call again in a few days and I'll post an update.

Ron Pittaway, Minden and Toronto ON


James Bay Report # 3 on 22 July 2009


This is Jean Iron's report via satellite phone today for the period 19-22 July 2009 from Longridge Point, which is 60 km north of Moosonee on southern James Bay. Mark Peck of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) heads a group six who are surveying shorebirds with a particular focus on the endangered rufa subspecies of the Red Knot.

Longridge is an important site for knots with a one-day estimate of 5,000 in the late 1970s. Mark Peck (ROM) is a Canadian member of an international team studying knots. The ROM group is also studying Yellow Rails and they are helping other researchers collect data on Northern Harriers, Whimbrels, Black Terns, Short-eared Owls, frogs and toads. Funding for the ROM's Red Knot Survey came from The Species at Risk Research Fund in Ontario, which is a partnership between the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and World Wildlife Fund - Canada.


The last several days have been sunny with temperatures well above normal. Mosquitoes are bad around the camp which is at the base of the point, but a sea breeze keeps them in check farther out on the long open peninsula. Moose Flies (genus Hybomitra) also called Horse Flies and Bulldogs are annoying at times. They peak in July.

Food Habits: Shorebirds in Hudson and James Bays feed on "an abundance of the bivalve Macoma balthica, and in southern James Bay, the gastropod Hydrobia minuta, as well as a variety of other crustaceans, worms and dipteran larvae" (Ontario Shorebird Conservation Plan 2003).

Adults and Juveniles: No juvenile shorebirds observed as of 22 July.

2009 perhaps indicating a late start to nesting this year due to a cold spring and late snow melt. All birds mentioned below are adults.

Some species are in various degrees of prebasic (postbreeding) molt and other species are not molting.

Black-bellied Plover: Molting; 2 on 21 July.

American Golden-Plover: Molting; 1 on 21 July.

Semipalmated Plover: 5 on 19 July, 4/20, 17/21, 8/22.

Killdeer: 2 on 19 July, 1/22.

Greater Yellowlegs: Molting; 113 on 19 July, 177/20, 69/21, 314/22.

Lesser Yellowlegs: Molting; 271 on 19 July, 511/20, 391/21, 463/22.

Whimbrel: Not molting; 3 on 19 July, 78/20, 71/21, 136/22.

Hudsonian Godwit: Molting; 102 on 19 July, 261/20, 338/21, 355/22.

Marbled Godwit: 1 on 20 July, 1/21, 5/22.

Ruddy Turnstone: Not molting; 15 on July 19 July, 13/20, 14/21, 60/22.

Red Knot: Molting; 69 on 19 July, 742/20, 966/21, 975/22. Almost 1,000 knots were seen on two consecutive days. 90 birds had leg flags with one observed by Mark Peck that he banded in 2005 on the breeding grounds of Southampton Island, Nunavut. Yesterday (22 July) Guy Morrison and Ken Ross of the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) surveyed southern James Bay by helicopter. They reported good numbers of Red Knots south of Longridge Point. See also related information under the heading AERIAL SURVEYS below.

Sanderling: Molting and much faded; 65 on 19 July, 98/20, 22/21, 11/22.

Semipalmated Sandpiper: Recent increase in numbers; 4,835 on 19 July, 1,869/20, 1,490/21, 872/22. This species has declined very significantly in recent years.

Least Sandpiper: Not molting; 13 on 19 July, 35/20, 40/21, 20/22.

White-rumped Sandpiper: Molting; 8 on 19 July, 19/20, 7/21, 7/22.

Baird's Sandpiper: 1 on 20 July, 1 on 22 July.

Pectoral Sandpiper: Not molting; 38 on 19 July, 34/20, 41/21, 151/22.

Dunlin: Bright birds in worn alternate plumage with no sign of molting yet; 15 on 19 July, 2/20, 4/21, 2/22.

Short-billed Dowitcher: 3 on 19 July, 2 on 20 July, 4 on 22 July.

Many (most?) adult Short-billed Dowitchers in Eastern Canada fly directly from the breeding grounds to the Atlantic Coast (Maritime Provinces, New England States, New York and New Jersey), so only small numbers are usually seen on James Bay.

Wilson's Snipe: 6 on 19 July, 2/18, 2/21, 4/22. Two tiny young 2-3 days old.

AERIAL SURVEYS: Guy Morrison and Ken Ross (CWS) are surveying the west coast of James Bay this week for waterfowl (such as molting flocks of male Black Scoters) and shorebirds. They also will be surveying Akimiski Island, Nunavut, this week. On 22 July (Tuesday) they surveyed Longridge Point. The ROM crew at the same time was "ground truthing" to compare results (species and numbers of shorebirds seen) between the air and ground surveyors.

OTHER BIRDS: Trumpeter Swan (year-old bird with some brownish feathers) on 20 July, Yellow Rails, Eastern Kingbird on 22 July, Le Conte's Sparrows, Nelson's Sparrows, Tennessee Warbler (common), 1 Clay-colored Sparrow, Common Redpolls flying over every day.

BEARS: Longridge Point is the ideal location to study shorebird migration because it is south of most summering Polar Bears, which are rare south of Akimiski Island. However, Black Bears are frequent at Longridge. This week a female with 3 cubs broke into camp while the surveyors were out during daylight. The bears made a mess eating camp food and left teeth marks in many things. The only item the bears ignored was the large cans of Tim Hortons coffee. Guy Morrison and Ken Ross (CWS) brought in food by helicopter to replace what was lost to the bears. The ROM's camp is at the base of the peninsula and it is 5.7 km to the tip. Now a person must watch the camp during the day because the bears will not leave the area. Two people have federal firearm licences to carry a rifle or shotgun, but no bears would be killed unless to protect human life.

BUTTERFLIES: Recent warm sunny weather in the high 20s C brought out Arctic Blue, Common Ringlet, Northern Crescent, Canadian Tiger Swallowtail, Viceroy, and White Admiral (often on bear dung). Old World Swallowtails were seen on 16 and 17 July in Moosonee. 

GEOGRAPHY: James Bay is the southeastern extension of Hudson Bay between Ontario and Quebec reaching very deep into eastern Canada south to latitude 51 degrees, putting Moosonee slightly south of Calgary, Alberta. James Bay is one of the largest inland seas in the world. Ontario's approximately 560 km coastline of James Bay is extremely flat and intersected by several large rivers and numerous smaller streams. The southern coast is characterized by long narrow promontories, such as Longridge Point which projects 6 km into James Bay, wide sandy bays, extensive brackish marshes, wide intertidal flats, and shoals. Tides range from 1 to 3 m with occasional very high wind tides flooding the flat terrain. Inland from the coast is the immense boreal Hudson Bay Lowlands (HBL) comprising almost 25% of the province. The HBL extend into the adjacent provinces of Quebec and Manitoba making it one of the largest wetlands in the world.

Map showing location of Longridge Point. 

ONTARIO SHOREBIRD CONSERVATION PLAN. 2003. Ross, K., and K. Abraham, R. Clay, B. Collins, J. Iron, R. James, D. McLachlin, R. Weeber. 48 pages. Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada. Link to pdf below.

Next update in a few days.

Ron Pittaway, Minden and Toronto ON


James Bay Report # 4 on 27 July 2009


Report from Jean Iron on 27 July 2009 for the period 23-26 July from Longridge Point on southern James Bay. Jean called late this morning so a few of today's sightings are included in this report. Mark Peck of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) heads a group of six who are surveying migrating shorebirds. The focus of the study is the endangered rufa subspecies of the Red Knot. The crews survey 15 km of coastline per day and have recorded 103 bird species to date.

SHOREBIRDS: 24 species of shorebirds recorded to date. The high count day for the period is listed for each species except for Red Knot, which includes counts for all days. Numbers below represent adults.

First juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs (3) was on 24 July and first juvenile Least Sandpiper (1) was on 26 July.

Black-bellied Plover: 3 on 26 July.

American Golden Plover: 1 on 26 July.

Semipalmated Plover: 25 on 24 July.

Killdeer: 2 on 26 July.

Spotted Sandpiper: 2 on 25 July.

Solitary Sandpiper: 3 on 25 July.

Greater Yellowlegs: 183 on 24 July.

Lesser Yellowlegs: 376 on 24 July including first juveniles (3).

Whimbrel: 85 on 24 July.

Hudsonian Godwit: 528 on 24 July. 2 on 23rd had flags from Chile.

Marbled Godwit: 6 on 24 July. The wintering grounds of James Bay birds were unknown until recently. Researchers were surprised when birds fitted with satellite transmitters on Akimiski Island, Nunavut, in 2007 and 2008 went southwest to winter at the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez) on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. Previously it was speculated that they wintered on the south Atlantic Coast of the United States, which is much closer to James Bay.

Ruddy Turnstone: 151 on 26 July.

Red Knot: 915 on 23 July, 704 on 24th, 1,035 on 25th, 1,055 on 26th. Many flagged knots are being re-sighted. One bird banded in Argentina was seen on 17 July and on 25th staying at least 9 days so far. Knots are fattening before departing on the next long flight. The helicopter survey of southern James Bay on 22 July by Guy Morrison and Ken Ross of the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) found an estimated 2,000 Red Knots (fide Ken Abraham). 

Sanderling: 75 on 26 July.

Semipalmated Sandpiper: 3792 on 24 July. 

Least Sandpiper: 69 on 24 July. First juvenile on 26th.

White-rumped Sandpiper: 53 on 26 July.

Pectoral Sandpiper: 266 on 24 July.

Dunlin: 20 on 24 July.

Stilt Sandpiper: 1 on 24 July.

Short-billed Dowitcher: 11 on 24 July included a mixture of both griseus and hendersoni subspecies and intergrades. Ontario is the main zone of intergradation between the two subspecies.

Wilson's Snipe: 4 on 26 July.

OTHER BIRDS: Not listed in checklist sequence. Best bird was a HENSLOW'S SPARROW this morning (27 July) found by Doug McRae, Mark Peck and Amy Whitear. This is the first record for northern Ontario.

Nearby they saw a Clay-colored Sparrow. 3 juvenile Northern Shrikes this morning (27 July) found by Don Shanahan and Gerry Binsfeld. 2 adult Little Gulls on 23 July. A high of 2,200 Black Scoters, mostly molting males, on 25 July. Once female scoters start incubating the males depart to molting areas on saltwater. Also seen were 4 Surf and some White-winged Scoters.

MAMMALS: 5 Belugas (White Whales) including a female and calf on 23 July, and 3 on 24th. A Short-tailed Weasel (Ermine) with small mammal in its mouth was at camp on 22 July and seen again on 26 July.

AKIMISKI ISLAND: Guy Morrison and Ken Ross (CWS) doing aerial surveys late last week saw an estimated 50-70,000 peeps along the north coast of the island and a good number of Marbled Godwits on the south coast (fide Ken Abraham).

HUDSON BAY REPORT: On 26 July I talked to Ken Abraham, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR), who is in Peawanuck doing surveys in the Hudson Bay Lowlands. Ken found an active Semipalmated Plover nest with four eggs on 25 July perhaps another indication of a late shorebird nesting season. Most Snow Geese along the Hudson Bay coast (10,000 on Pen Islands and 130,000 at Cape Henrietta Maria) either did not nest or had a poor nesting season because of the cold late spring and late snow melt. The adult breeders normally molt along the coast as their young grow. However, many adult Snow Geese have disappeared and Ken thinks that the failed breeders left to molt elsewhere. The small Snow Goose colony on Akimiski Island, Nunavut, in James Bay did much better than the Hudson Bay colonies. Ken had seen no duck broods as of 26 July. Next week Ken and Rod Brook (OMNR) and Ken Ross (CWS) will be doing duck brood surveys as part of the international Sea Duck Joint Venture, which is addressing declines in sea ducks. Earlier surveys this summer found good numbers of paired Black Scoters and some Surf and White-winged Scoters on small lakes in the Hudson Bay Lowlands. Ken did a complete survey of the Ontario's north coast (>1000 km) from southern James Bay to the Manitoba border on 12-14 July and he saw only one Polar Bear. However, many bears came ashore this past week following strong south winds that pushed ice well away from the coast.

 Map link below shows ice conditions in James and Hudson Bays.

Yellow marker on map shows location of Longridge Point. The Province of Ontario extends to the high water mark on James Bay. The offshore islands, such as Akimiski, are in Nunavut Territory, whereas the waters and seabed are internal parts of Canada under federal jurisdiction.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Mark Peck is grateful to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources for logistical support. He particularly thanks Ken Abraham, Rod Brook and Sarah Hagey. Funding for the Red Knot Survey came from The Species at Risk Research Fund in Ontario, which is a partnership between the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and World Wildlife Fund - Canada.

Ron Pittaway, Toronto/Minden ON


James Bay Report # 5 on 2 August 2009


The crew is home after spending 14 days surveying shorebirds. This report covers the period 27-29 July 2009 at Longridge Point, which is 60 km north of Moosonee on southern James Bay. Mark Peck of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) led the crew comprising Amy Whitear (ROM), Doug McRae, Don Shanahan, Gerry Binsfeld and Jean Iron.

SHOREBIRDS: Only high count days are listed and all birds are adults except where noted. Additional information is included on the Red Knot because it was the focus of the study.

Black-bellied Plover: 14 on 27 July.

American Golden-Plover: 1 on 27 July.

Semipalmated Plover: 96 on 27 July.

Killdeer: 3 on 29 July.

Spotted Sandpiper: 1 on 28 July.

Greater Yellowlegs: 187 on 27 July.

Lesser Yellowlegs: 525 on 27 July. Several juveniles on all three days.

Whimbrel: 189 on 27 July.

Hudsonian Godwit: 296 on 27 July.

Marbled Godwit: 1000+ birds were counted on 22 July during an aerial survey of the south coast of Akimiski Island, Nunavut by Ken Ross (pers. comm.) and Guy Morrison of the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS).

Ruddy Turnstone: 296 on 27 July.

RED KNOT: 1100 on 27 July, 1060 on 28th and 750 on 29th. Habitat: sandy tidal flats interspersed with large and small rocks and pools.

Counts: Best times to count knots and check for leg flags were (1) as the tide came in concentrating them; (2) at high tide when they roosted for 1 to 2 hours on rocks and grassy areas above the water line; and (3) when they resumed feeding in freshly exposed wet sand and mud as the tide retreated. Knots used the rich food resources to fatten and undergo body molt. Mark Peck collected fecal samples on the mud to determine later what the knots are eating. Flags: about 150 individuals had leg flags with many repeat sightings over the entire period indicating long staying birds. When the data on flagged birds are analyzed, we will know the approximate ages and ratio of males to females, which was determined at time of banding using molecular sexing techniques. Researchers in other locations of North and South America will re-sight some of our birds so we will learn more about the populations using James Bay and their migration routes.

Sanderling: 86 on 27 July.

Semipalmated Sandpiper: 1783 on 29 July. A bird flagged in New Jersey was observed. This species has declined very significantly in recent years. Possible causes include (1) the decline of Horseshoe Crabs in Delaware Bay in spring affecting fat reserves to continue migration and breed, (2) the spraying of wetlands in Suriname on the winter range, and (3) increased disturbance in recent years by introduced Peregrine Falcons (released anatum-types) in July and August at the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, which is reducing the length of stopover and the time needed to fatten for the long migration over the Atlantic to South America. The Tundra Peregrine Falcon (subspecies tundrius) is not a problem at the Bay of Fundy because it migrates from the Arctic in late September into October after the Semipalmateds have departed.

Least Sandpiper: 127 on 27 July. A few juveniles on 28th and 29th.

White-rumped Sandpiper: Numbers increased daily with a high of 822 on 29 July.

Pectoral Sandpiper: 165 on 27 July.

Dunlin: 23 on 29 July.

Wilson's Snipe: 3 on 27 July. Snipe were still winnowing on 29 July.

OTHER BIRDS: Location is Longridge except where noted: Aerial surveys on 26-28 July counted at least 10,000 molting Black Scoters (mainly males) in the Longridge area (Ken Ross, CWS). Yellow Rail, still clicking frequently both day and night. Sandhill Crane, pair with two juveniles on 29 July. Little Gull, 2 adults on 27 July. Bonaparte's Gulls, a high of 458 on 27 July included a few year old nonbreeders, but no juveniles. Arctic Tern, 1 on 27 July and 28th; terns at Longridge were mostly Commons. Great Horned Owl hooting on 26th.

Long-eared Owl heard on 29th. Short-eared Owl seen on 28th. HENSLOW'S SPARROW singing on 27, 28 and 29 July in an extensive dry grass meadow dotted with short willow shrubs and wildflowers between the high tide line and tree edge. Savannah Sparrow, common. Le Conte's Sparrow, still singing. Nelson's Sparrow (subspecies alterus), still singing. Clay-colored Sparrow, 3 singing on 27 and 28 July and 1 on 29th.

MAMMALS: 2 Belugas on 29 July. Striped Skunk on 27th. Small mammal numbers such as voles were low at Longridge.

Yellow marker on map shows location of Longridge Point.

A total of 109 bird species was recorded including 24 shorebird species for the 14 day period 16-29 July 2009. Next report will include a link to photos.

Jean Iron and Ron Pittaway, Toronto ON


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