Thursday 19 December 2013

Netitishi Days 10 and 11

Introductory Post
Day 1 and 2 - October 24 and 25, 2013
Day 3 and 4 - October 26 and 27, 2013
Day 5 - October 28, 2013
Day 6 - October 29, 2013
Day 7 - October 30, 2013
Day 8 - October 31, 2013
Day 9 - November 1, 2013
Day 10 and 11 - November 2 and 3, 2013

November 2, 2013
Weather: between -6 and -2, mostly sunny with late afternoon snowsqualls, winds WNW to W 30-40 km/h
30 species
Ebird checklist:

It certainly felt like winter on our last full day at the coast. The temperature was consistently below freezing all day, we were hit with a few snowsqualls, and a bitter west wind seemed to blow right through our shelter.

Most of the mid-autumn waterfowl had moved through, so species like Brant, American Black Duck, and Northern Pintail were present only in very small numbers. Some of the more northern ducks that are often associated with winter in Ontario were moving by however, and we counted 25 White-winged and 20 Black Scoters. The highlight were the 5 King Eiders going by - all female-types. Northern gulls occasional drifted on by, though it was still early for the big numbers of them. Five Glaucous and 12 Great Black-backed were counted.

It was slow in the afternoon and during a period of sun, Alan collected a few more driftwood pieces to reinforce the shelter.

Alan along the coast

Despite the persistent ice buildup, several shorebird species were still hanging on. A lonely looking Pectoral flew by twice, and a pair of juvenile American Golden-plovers were feeding on one of the last remaining mudflats. A Black-bellied Plover, 300 Dunlin, and 4 White-rumped Sandpipers rounded out the shorebirds.

The night was windy but without precipitation and we had hopes that the chopper would arrive without a delay the next day. It had been a pretty good trip bird wise, and I had had a fantastic and relaxing trip.

November 3, 2013
Weather: between -1 and -6 Celsius, clear skies, winds very light from the west
21 species
Ebird checklist:

It was indeed calm on our final morning, though the night had been cold and the winds light so that much of the coast had frozen up, and with the exception of a flock of Dunlins (with a few token White-rumped Sandpipers), the majority of the shorebirds had departed. It was remarkable at times how few birds were around - sometimes you could go 20 minutes or more of scanning and not see a single duck fly past.

I was bored in the mid morning and went for a walk behind the cabins to look for passerines. An American Robin called several times, and a small flock containing both species of chickadees were feeding down low next to the trail. I found a few single Pine Grosbeaks and had a few flocks of White-winged Crossbills and redpolls fly over. The highlight for me was watching a pair of Spruce Grouse feeding quietly in an open, sunlit patch next to the trail. I did not have my camera on me, but I spent about 20 minutes watching them. Eventually they stopped paying to me and resumed feeding. I could really study their colors and patterns, as well as their adaptations to life in the boreal forest.

Later in the morning we burned all of our garbage, packed up our equipment, and locked up the cabins. Sure enough, right at 12:00, the distant whir of the chopper was heard. Another fantastic trip to the coast was over.

chopper - Netitishi Point

1 comment:

The Furry Gnome said...

Pretty nice adventure!