Sunday, 23 November 2014

Netitishi Day 6

Day 1: September 26, 2014
Day 2: September 27, 2014
Day 3: September 28, 2014
Day 4: September 29, 2014
Day 5: September 30, 2014
Day 6: October 1, 2014
Day 7: October 2, 2014
Day 8: October 3, 2014
Day 9: October 4, 2014
Day 10: October 5, 2014
Day 11: October 6, 2014
Day 12: October 7, 2014
Days 13 and 14: October 8 and 9, 2014

October 1, 2014
Weather: 5 to 17 to 12 degrees C, wind ESE to SW 10 -30 km/h, clear skies, light overcast at dusk
53 species
Ebird checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S20206588

In my notebook I began this day's entry with "A very slow day at Netitishi. The morning tide was low - seawatching was pointless"...a theme that would happen more frequently than I would have cared on this year's trip. As you can see from the weather information above, it was a warm day with moderate winds with a southerly component once again; the poor migration weather led to few waterbirds being seen. Nine ducks were seen today. No, not nine species - nine individual ducks.

It can be an strange feeling sitting out by the coast and scanning from the far left to the far right, covering quite a large swath of open water, and come up with exactly zero ducks. Sometimes, it can be a relief to spot a few distant Ring-billed Gulls to break up the monotony! It sure is much different than birding the lower Great Lakes, where no matter what, there are always birds going by - even if they are "just" Red-breasted Mergansers or Long-tailed Ducks. But the few really excellent migration days on James Bay certainly make up for the slow ones!

But enough about the negative - we did see a few interesting birds today including a very distant Short-eared Owl that was migrating from east to west over the bay, following a similar route that Rough-legged Hawks take; we also had 19 Roughies today. This was my second SEOW for Netitishi and our first for this trip.

The usual crew of Peregrine Falcons was out controlling songbird numbers today. Occasionally one would blast by in full chase mode. More frequently they were seen soaring and cruising by slowly, keeping an eye out for potential meals.

Peregrine Falcon - Netitishi Point

Speaking of songbirds, they were active on a sunny warm day like today. New for our trip was a Western Palm Warbler that was seen on occasion along the edge of spruces along the coastline. Too quick for photos, however! Sparrows were also around, though in relatively low numbers, and by the end of the day we had dug out ten species. Many of these sparrows were to the east around the point. We also heard a Ruffed Grouse drumming far to the east, our third "trip bird" of the day. The fourth trip bird ended up being a flock of nine Least Sandpipers (Alan only). We would see more later in the trip.

Alan scanning the shoreline

Dragonflies were out in full force on the first day of the new month. These solar powered arthropods seem to disappear within seconds of the sun going behind a cloud. I'll make a post detailing the dragonfly species of Netitishi at a later date.

By evening the winds were out of the southwest and a thin layer of clouds had obscured the fading sun. To close things out, here is a photo looking southwest from the cabins across the small wetland an hour or two before dusk.

wetland near Netitishi Point

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