September 2011

Monthly Archive

Fall Migratory Bird Count report by Don

Posted by on 27 Sep 2011 | Tagged as: birding

piping ploverOn the 17th of September, 11 folks participated in the annual Fall Migratory Bird Count. They looked high and low by foot, by car and by boat. They found a total of 5626 individual and 84 species. Some of the good birds included Cape May Warblers, Mitred Parakeets, Wilson’s and Piping Plovers, and Red Knots. Among the surprise no-shows was Ring-billed gulls. We have seen them almost every day before the count day. None that day. Where did they go? Also surprisingly low were only 10 Boat-tailed Grackles. I went from parking lot to parking lot looking for them but did not see a one. Where did they go?

Despite the puzzlement, it was a great day. Thanks to those who participated.

Shooting of Whimbrels in the Carribean by Don

Posted by on 24 Sep 2011 | Tagged as: birding

WhimbrelSeptember 15, 2011 – Two Whimbrels (Numenius phaeopus) tracked by scientists from a US university have been shot by hunters on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, highlighting the continuing lack of protection for migratory shorebirds in this important part of their flyway.

Scientists at the Center for Conservation Biology at Virginia Commonwealth University were using satellite technology to follow the Whimbrels, known as Machi and Goshen.  The birds were not migrating together, but both stopped on the island on the morning of 12 September, after encountering different storm systems.

Guadeloupe has several isolated mangrove swamps that serve to concentrate the shorebirds for shooting.  An estimated 3,000 hunters participate in the shorebird hunt annually.  Currently, shooting parties on the island are not regulated, and no information is available on the number of shorebirds taken. Without such information it is not possible to assess the potential relationship between hunting and ongoing population declines. The number of Whimbrels migrating along the western Atlantic coast has fallen by 50% since the mid-1990s.

To read more of the story, check out this link.  The author is Martin Fowlie from an international conservation organization called Birdlife International whose website is at

If you are interested in getting more updates like these, I encourage you to check out their website and sign up for their newsletter.