Sunday, August 26, 2012

Chickney Channel

Well, its been a while since I lasted posted. I was fortunate enough to be offered a position to volunteer with the ROM/CWS/OMNR and conduct shorebird surveys on western James Bay. This post serves as a summary of my stay there, what we did and what we saw!

I (along with several others) left southern Ontario on July 28th, driving north to Cochrane. On the 29th we boarded the Polar Bear Express and arrived in the middle of the afternoon in Moosonee. The 30th ended up being an extra day in Moosonee, while we waited for the helicopter pilot to arrive from northern Quebec, and to get the Longridge and Little Piskwamish crews out. The following morning (the 31st) we (my brother Mike, and Jeanette Goulet) left for our new home for the next 15 days, at Chickney Channel.

To see a map of where we were (along with the other crews), check this link out! Map
The map below shows our camp, as well as the two locations, where we surveyed from:

This was part of our hike out every morning

Common Redpoll's bred around our camp. This is likely one of the most southern breeding locations in the world.

Christian Friis - project co-ordinator, and song lyric master

A. White Pelicans in the distance

Our sleeping quarters. My bunk is the top left.

Our lovely kitchen (and Jeanette!)

There were two cabins, though the one on the left had been raided by a Black Bear previous to our time there.

Looking west from the tower. Note the two mist-nets in the foreground.

High tide coming in.

A. White Pelicans struggling in the wind.

Flock of Hudsonian Godwits resting.


Le Conte's Sparrow

Bad-ass storm coming our way.

More bad-ass storm's coming our way. Mike and Jeanette are way to the north, though look like blobs.

Nelson's Sparrow - this was the best bird we banded (I banded it!)

Shorebirds moving by at high tide. I counted 248 birds in this pic.

Marbled Godwit - I think of a juvenile. Our high count was 534 on July 31st

Night sky of the Big Dipper - not sure if this will show up

Aerial view of the fen we more or less lived in

(more) A. White Pelicans. These were near 'Nomansland' Point, north of Longridge Point

Longridge Point
And here are some videos I took while there:

So in total, I saw something like 98 species in total (the camp total was 105-110). To see a post that Christian Friis sent to Ontbirds, click here.