Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Seal River IBA

Greeting from the Seal River Estuary Important Bird Area (IBA) (Manitoba, Canada - along Hudson's Bay coast) where I have been conducting shorebird counts at the request of Oceans North for the last few days. I will compile a full post soon; however, here is a short teaser...

One of the notewrothy sightings has been that for the last 2 days Brant (pale-bellied form) have been moving in small flocks along the coast.

Shorebird tallies have been reasonably high. This beautiful Buff-breasted Sandpiper was one of 22 that stopped off in the Seal River Estuary Important Bird Area on their way from the high arctic to southern South America. This species and many others will need a network of high quality sites, such as IBAs, to fuel their migration. Here are three photos of this magnificent shorebird (all are juveniles as seen by the scaly mantle).

Unless you spend time on their breeding grounds, one dones''t often get to see the super streaky plumage of juvenile Dunlin- here is one of my favourite photos of these shorebirds.

Despite their flocking behaviour, shorebirds sometimes display aggression while foraging. These Pectoral sandpipers are squabbling over the rich pickings on the Hudson Bay coastal flat. This photo also reveals the "triple barred" appearance of the underwing that can be a useful feature in identifying Pectoral Sandpipers in flight at a distance.

And here are two photos of a bathing juvenile White-rumped Sandpiper.

Stay tuned for more to come...

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