Monday, December 7, 2015

A Unique Opportunity? - Netitishi Point Dec 10-16th




While the weather is hardly "mild" - I can't help but notice things are exceptionally warm in Moosonee these days. Check out the temperature anomalies: 


And all of the major models agree - there are no "deep freeze" conditions in the forecast for the next several days around southern James Bay


Other than a big blast of cold air in late Nov/early Dec, it has been very mild for weeks on end. The cold blast did allow a large amount of ice to build up along the Ontario coast, but as far as I can tell, it has been breaking up since then...


I'm looking forward to a proper update from the Canadian Ice Service, which has high quality mapping for James Bay - but hasn't provided anything new for several days. I'll probably turn it into another riveting tweet when it arrives. 

As the title implies, I can't help but wonder what the birding will be like at Netitishi Point, one of my favourite scraps of land on the planet, over the next week or so... Warm-ish weather and open water in mid-December probably doesn't happen very often... So I wonder what birds are around to be seen?

Many of the major models keep things warm (ish) through at least Dec 16/17th... 


What I find particularly strange about the warm(ish) temperatures is that they haven't always been accompanied by southerly winds... 

Here's some 15 knot (~25kph) due N winds for Saturday Dec 12th - 


Which either stay a gentle NW to NE, or go light right through until Monday/Tuesday (Dec 14/15) when they really pick up again to nearly 30 knots, due N... That's 50-60kph!!!


And as far as I can tell, snowfall probably (probably) wouldn't be too much of a hinderance either... Allowing one to actually look for birds - 


So with reasonable temps, decent ice conditions, modest precipitation and sublime north winds - I would be VERY interested to know how the birding is at Netitishi Point over the next 7-10 days!!!

Will it be overflowing with King Eiders? Will Common Eiders and Black Guillemots be zipping around as they flee the rapidly freezing hudson's bay? Will Gyrfalcons be chasing them down? Will Ross's Gulls be hiding amongst the flocks of Glaucous? 



Perhaps in another life - where I had unlimited free time and money, these questions would be answered... For now, I'm content to wonder! 




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