Wednesday 17 December 2014

Netitishi Day 9

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 4, 2014
Weather: between 15 and 8 degrees C, wind SW to SE 20-30 km/h, overcast with brief sunny periods
Ebird checklist:
56 species

October 4 began warm and calm, though the temperatures dropped as the day wore on and the wind picked up out of the southwest, swinging to the southeast by afternoon. The day's highlight was found by Kory as he birded in the woods west of the cabins. With a mixed flock he picked out a Red-eyed Vireo and managed to snap a few photos before it disappeared. While Red-eyed Vireos are a very common woodland species throughout Ontario, most have usually departed the north by early September. Kory also found the first Winter Wren of the trip that day.

Red-eyed Vireo (photo by Kory Renaud)

Alan also found what was likely a very good bird while he was seawatching by himself. He got on a distant Sterna tern, though the views were too poor given the conditions to tell if it was a Common Tern or the more likely option of Arctic Tern.

Later in the morning Kory and I were birding in the opening just south of the shelter by the treeline when we heard the distinctive squeak of a Black-backed Woodpecker. A few moments later it appeared and flew directly right beside us, eventually landing in a nearby tree. I was pretty happy with the sighting as it was a long-overdue addition to my southern James Bay list.

Jeremy, Kory and I completed the usual afternoon trek along the coastline to the east in search of sparrows and other songbirds. The James Bay coastline is beautiful with wide open spaces, sun-bleached driftwood, and a variety of colors in the autumn plant life.

southern James Bay coastline

Good numbers of sparrows were foraging on the beach and in the grasses and it wasn't long until we came up with a total of 11  species, highlighted by a single Nelson's Sparrow. Dozens of Dark-eyed Juncos, American Tree Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows made up the bulk of the sightings.

Despite the poor seawatching conditions, as a group we managed to see 56 bird species - the second highest daily total so far on the trip.


Alan Wormington said...

The “tern” was not really that far away. The problems were (1) it was sunrise, and the conditions were very gloomy; and (2) just after spotting the bird, a Peregrine Falcon decided to chase it up to 3000 feet into the sky, where I lost it from view and never saw it again. VERY FRUSTRATING. Common or Arctic, either one would have been a record-late occurrence for southern James Bay.

Allen Woodliffe said...

Hey is great to read of your northern excursion and experiences vicariously through this blog.......thanks!

Josh Vandermeulen said...

Thanks Allen, glad you are enjoying!