Monday, August 6, 2012

August 2-3, 2012 More signs of fall migration at Churchill, Manitoba

Another great day birding in Churchill. So far days have been sunny with a light breeze, keeping the mosquitos and other biting insects at bay. Today, August 2nd Ben and I had a good day, birding many of the regular spots that we visited previously. Highlights for the day included 2 Peregrine Falcona hunting over the tidal flats, Common Loon flyby at Cape Merry, Blue-winged Teal at the Granary Ponds, and 208 Whimbrel  at Cape Merry. Southbound shorebird migration continues with more juvenile Least, Semipalmated and Stilt Sandpiper along with juvenile Short-billed Dowticher. On August 3rd we spent some time mid morning at Cape Merry at low tide and scanned off shore and after a while we were rewarded with an adult breeding plumage Sabine's Gull feeding over the water as Beluga's were feeding. For the first time since arriving, we counted 16 juvenile Bonaparte's Gulls feeding and resting on the exposed rocks off Cape Merry and a couple of juvenile Arctic Tern. At Bird Cove, east of Churchill, we spent an hour checking the shorebirds at low tide and counted 108 Hudsonian Godwit, 24 Sanderling, 18 Black-bellied Plover, 8 American Golden-Plover, 38 Ruddy Turnstone and 5 Buff-breasted Sandpiper, my first for the Churchill region and # 202. Still looking for Polar Bears!!

Whimbrel were observed regularly in small flocks at Cape Merry.

Adult White-crowned Sparrow carrying food for young.

Male Common Redpoll.

Bird actitvity increased daily at the bird feeder rock.

A moulting male Blackpoll Warbler was still singing at Landing Lake on August 3rd.  

A colour banded adult Semipalmated Plover at the gravel point near the Grain Elevator. This individual was likely banded locally during the CNSC field season. 

A family of downy young Greater Scaup sunbathe on a rock at the Granary Ponds.

The Common Repoll is a regular breeder in the Churchill region.

The Granary Ponds were checked numerous times every day for migrating shorebirds and waterfowl.

The Goose Creek Road area near the Marina is a good location for Nelson's Sparrow and Yellow Rail.

Birding along Goose Creek Road.

Low tide along the Churchill River.

Bruce at Cape Merry.

Cape Merry at low tide.

Ben caught a juvenile White-crowned Sparrow at the Granary Ponds.

Beluga's were everywhere along the Churchill River and at the mouth of Hudson Bay.

A European Starling moulting into winter plumage.

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