Wednesday, June 9, 2010

June 9, 2010 Churchill Birding

The birding today at Churchill was excellent. Unlike last year at this time ( lots of snow, ice and flooding!) we arrived mid morning to no snow except for a few remaining drifts in the woods or shaded areas, Churchill River open and Hudson Bay mainly frozen but with large leads open. Lots of bird activity at the mouth of the river and Hudson Bay. There were good numbers of loons with 130+ Red-throated, 75 Pacific and 1 Common Loon. Hundreds of diving ducks could be seen feeding and flying including Common Eider, all 3 scoters, Long-tailed Duck, both Common and Red-breasted Merganser. Earlier in the morning 2 male King Eiders were observed off Cape Merry. There was a big increase in Arctic Terns, with a few hundred seen in various areas including Cape Merry, Akudlik Marsh and the Weir. There was also a good number of Sabine's Gulls with 11 at Cape Merry, 1 at Akudlik Marsh, 7 at the Marina and 5 at the Weir. May have some duplication but an amazing sight! Still a good number of shorebirds moving through the area with flocks of Baird's, Stilt, White-rumped, Semipalmated and Least Sandpiper. Also, a few Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Black-bellied Plover and Pectoral Sandpiper. Had a few flocks of Lapland Longspur 200+, Snow Bunting 150+, mainly in the Weir, Marina, and Granary Pond areas. Other land birds of note included Pine Grosbeak, Common Redpoll, American Pipit, Rusty Blackbird, and 1 Northern Shrike. Overall a great start to the week!

Good birding, Bruce Di Labio

The Pine Grosbeak is an uncommon summer breeder.

A view off Cape Merry showing the break up of ice on Hudson Bay

A pair of Bufflehead at the Weir.

A Baird's Sandpiper feeding along Goose Creek Road.

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