Sunday, 29 September 2013

Moosonee "highlights" so far

It has been a slow trip to say the least. The winds consistently have been from the southwest, and combined with warm temperatures no new birds are coming in from the north. Whatever birds have blown in with the southwest winds have been difficult to find in the conditions.

Before I get into some of the sightings from Moosonee, I should mention that we did see two groups of Sharp-tailed Grouses (totalling 5 birds) from the train to Moosonee. They were lifers for Jeremy and finished of the trifecta of Ontario grouse in one day!

Sharp-tailed Grouse - as seen from the train

On our first day in Moosonee we were dropped off south of town. We checked the dump before heading up to the lagoons. Right away we spotted a medium-sized bird sitting on one of the fence posts. A shrike!

Unfortunately, a closer look revealed it to be a Northern, not the hoped for Loggerhead. Still, a good find for late September in town.

Northern Shrike - Moosonee sewage lagoons

The typical ducks were in the lagoon. 3 Pectoral and 1 Lesser Yellowlegs were around the edges of one of the ponds, and an adult Bonaparte's Gull was a surprise.

Bonaparte's Gull - Moosonee sewage lagoons

Alan noticed an Atlantis Fritillary, a record late date for southern James Bay. Other insects seen included several dragonflies and damselflies, Common Sulfurs, and an Orange Sulfur.

Atlastis Fritillary - Moosonee sewage lagoons

The long walk back to town was largely uneventful from an avian standpoint. However, this Striped Skunk made an appearance, trotting down the road towards us.

Striped Skunk - Moosonee

Jeremy and I also found an underwing moth clinging to the road. According to Alan it is likely a Briseus Underwing (Catocala briseus). Their foodplant includes Trembling Aspen, a common tree of the area.

Yesterday was another slow day. We wandered around in Moosonee, mainly focusing on the river and the north end of town. Highlights included the first American Tree Sparrow of the autumn, a Le Conte's Sparrow (lifer for Jeremy and a year bird for me), and several raptors including Rough-legged Hawks and Peregrine Falcons.


Ravens are always interesting with their antics...

Common Raven - Moosonee

Common Raven - Moosonee

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