Friday, 4 October 2013

Final day in Moosonee - September 30, 2013

Our final day in the Moosonee area held promise. The unabated south winds which had been blowing for several days in a row finally let up just a little bit, and combined with the overcast conditions, it just felt like we would find a rarity! Unfortunately, that wasn't the case, but it was still a good day of birding.

We took the barge over to Moose Factory first thing in the morning. In the past I have taken a water taxi, but round trip the water taxi was $30 compared to only $18 for the barge.

water taxi in Moose Factory

As soon as we arrived in Moose Factory it was evident that birds were much more numerous compared to Moosonee! One of the reasons was the plentiful Mountain-ash berries, of which Cedar Waxwings and American Robins were making quick work of. We spent the better part of an hour watching the birds along a roadway containing many Mountain-ashes and came up with some decent finds in a late Swainson's Thrush and an Orange-crowned Warbler. I was able to get Jeremy onto his first ever Boreal Chickadee as two made their presence known by vocalizing. We had brief but good looks at them as they checked us out.

Om nom nom

Sparrows were much more numerous here than back in Moosonee. Lincoln's Sparrows had arrived in numbers (relatively speaking), joining the many Song, White-crowned, and White-throated Sparrows. A Fox Sparrow was still singing on territory in the coastal willows, and close to a dozen American Tree Sparrows were seen in the weedy patches. This northern species is well known during the winter months in southern Ontario, but in this part of Ontario they are migrants that will continue on south.

American Tree Sparrow - Moose Factory

One thing about Moosonee/Moose Factory is the number of dogs roaming the streets. According to Alan there are way fewer than in the past, when rogue packs would wander the neighbourhood. On this trip though hardly a minute would go by without hearing one or two dogs yapping away! Here is one of the few friendly dogs...

friendly dog - Moose Factory

By mid afternoon we headed back to Moosonee, packed up our gear and went to the train station. The last few sightings of this leg of the trip involved a flock of 14 Sharp-tailed Grouse flushed by the train and a solitary Northern Hawk Owl perching on a Black Spruce as the sun went down. A good day...

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