Weather: between 15 and 8 degrees C, wind SW to SE 20-30 km/h, overcast with brief sunny periods
Ebird checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S20221029
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)|
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.