Sunday 11 January 2015

Netitishi Day 12

October 7, 2014
Weather: between 9 and 12 degrees C, wind SW to SE 10-25 km/h, most overcast with rain, at times heavy
55 species
Ebird checklist:

All things considered we ended up with a pretty decent day on October 7, despite the usual southerly winds and some periods of heavy rain. The highlight of the day came while sea-watching with Kory and Jeremy -great looks at a dark juvenile Parasitic Jaeger heading east, only about 300 m out from us. This was the only Parasitic seen on the trip apart from the two on September 28.

A few other birds were migrating past including a big flock of Hudsonian Godwits, numbering 130 individuals. I have to say it is a pretty cool sight to see a distant flock of shorebirds come closer, realizing they are a huge group of Hudwits as they approach within identifiable range. The black and white wing/tail pattern is striking. After leaving James Bay, these big flocks of godwits will gain elevation and, if the weather remains suitable, may fly all the way to South America in one go. It really is remarkable how shorebirds can sustain flight for so long. Single Hudsonian Godwits are uncommon in southern Ontario, and big flocks are almost unheard of. Usually severe weather may cause a group to touch down, but even then it is usually just a brief layover for the godwits. This photo below was not taken at Netitishi; rather I snapped these photos of molting Hudsonian Godwits at Longridge Point, further up the west side of James Bay, in August of 2012.

Hudsonian Godwits - Longridge Point (August, 2012)

Hudsonian Godwits - Longridge Point (August, 2012)

Other interesting birds seen on the day included a group of four Ruffed Grouse between the cabins and the coast, the largest number of Dunlins seen so far on the trip, and a Cackling Goose sitting on the water with a small group of Canadas - likely the same bird that we had seen previously.

One last full day remaining on the coast.

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