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Discipline Notes From Eeyou Istchee

Creator: Ted Cheskey

Marc-Antoine and I left southern Quebec on August 13, travelling two days with an in a single day keep on the Caribou Motel in Matagami. There, we encountered 20 Widespread Nighthawks and a leaky tire that we had been lucky to detect and restore the subsequent morning. We arrived on the Waastooskum (“Northern Lights”) Inn on Sunday afternoon. 

The following morning, we met with the group at Chisasibi Eeyou Useful resource and Analysis Insitute (CERRI) and with our host, Officer John Lameboy of the Eeyou Marine Area Wildlife Board, to debate our itinerary for the subsequent 10 days. After reviewing maps, John organized for us to go to the trapline to the north of Chisasibi, accessible by the Lengthy Level Street, and off-road autos. 

Leaving late the subsequent morning, we break up into two groups. One group can be visiting the realm to the north of the Lengthy Level highway, and the opposite would head to the south. We travelled by Argo, a powerful military-like all-terrain automobile that may go just about wherever. Two workers members from CERRI, Preston and Isaiah, joined us for the day. 

We had been dissatisfied to search out comparatively little chicken exercise—solely six species of shorebird—probably attributable to restricted shorebird habitat. However the deep coastal prairie-like wetlands on the north aspect may have held species of curiosity resembling yellow rail or Nelson’s Sparrow. We concluded that the timing of our go to (each date and time of day) was not optimum for detecting birds, particularly breeding birds (very late morning to late afternoon in mid August). 

The following day was very calm, and John organized for the vacationer boat to take us into the bay the place we may view a number of islands. Noticing just a few flocks of shorebirds, we stopped first on a sand spit just a few kilometres off the mouth of the Chisasibi River. There was a noticeable present from the river even there, and the water was not salty. We tallied our largest group of shorebirds for all the expedition on this island, which amounted to solely 80 people of 5 species. A mix of grownup and younger Sanderlings and Semipalmated plovers made up nearly all of birds. 

We continued on our journey to a distant island with a communication tower on it. Over 100 Black Guillemots use this island as a nest web site. We didn’t see any younger, however may odor their presence. The excessive whistled “tune” of the Guillemots stuffed the air, often punctuated by grunts from the Widespread Eiders that additionally breed there. This island web site was the one one the place we noticed a big focus of geese. Most had been too distant to establish, although we did tally 170 Pink-breasted Mergansers there. Alongside the coast of a bigger island, we noticed our first American Pipit. On our return journey, we stopped at Governor’s Island and took within the view of the seaside on the tip of Fort George Island. Regardless of seeing huge quantities of sand, we didn’t observe any shorebirds there. 

Chisasibi Chicken

The next day, we made our method alongside a community of very tough roads to go to Previous Fort George. We hoped to make it to the seaside that fashioned on the western tip of the island, however had been unsuccessful, barred by impassable roads and scrubland. 

On Friday, there was a group presentation of the mission and screening of A Yr within the Lifetime of a Pink Knot. The video was narrated in Cree by Luci Salt, an elder, educator, Cree translator, and group member of Chisasibi. Luci was unable to attend the occasion, however her narration introduced the video to life! The 30 attendees watched attentively and appreciated the screening.

Officer John Lamboy translated my presentation into Cree with some assist from Jimmy Fireman. We talked for practically two hours, punctuating the presentation with attracts for binoculars, donated by the Eeyou Marine Area Wildlife Board and a chicken e-book. In direction of the top of the assembly, the individuals, all native land customers, had been invited to mark massive maps that CERRI supplied with their observations of the species which might be related to our work. Three hours later, after an important meal and plenty of good conversations, the group dispersed. By all accounts, the occasion was very profitable!

For the subsequent three days, we had hoped to survey massive wetland complexes about 35 kilometres to the south, however a mixture of climate and logistical points intervened. As an alternative we revisited a number of websites that had been accessible by automotive, together with Lengthy Level, the boat launch on the finish of the freeway, the sewage lagoons, and different areas round Chisasibi. Surprisingly, we discovered a number of Mourning Doves that seem like residing in Chisasibi. In line with Jimmy Fireman, the doves have been current for roughly 5 years, maybe one other indicator of local weather change?

Tuesday, our final full day in Chisasibi, John organized for boat captain Ross Home and his son Rusty to take us to 2 Islands that we wished to go to – Agweekwich Island and one which we named “Vacationer” Island as we noticed the vacationer boat arrive there stuffed with vacationers from the south. We left the boat dock earlier than 7:30 am, reaching Agweekwich Island shortly after 8 am. We spent a number of hours combing the Island, observing American Pipits, Horned Larks, Widespread Redpolls, a household of Higher Scaup and some Widespread Eider households. 

There, we discovered probably the most uncommon species of the journey. We heard it first, nearly in disbelief, however there was little question. It was a Grey Catbird, captured within the adjoining picture, ‘meowing’ about 1000 kilometres north of its vary!

At Vacationer island, we discovered seven species of shorebirds, together with 34 semipalmated sandpipers and one other spotlight species—the final one noticed earlier than returning to the boat. There have been three male Willow Ptarmigans that burst out of a patch of willows, muttering away with their uncommon voices. This was our second Ptarmigan remark of all the expedition (beforehand noticed on an Island in Wemindji the place we confirmed breeding), and a really thrilling method to finish our keep.

In the long run, we noticed over 4300 people of 87 species of birds in 9 days of labor. We’ve little doubt that if we had been capable of go to the southern bays that we had hoped to, or be there a bit earlier (finish of July, starting of August), this quantity can be a lot larger. 


Nature Canada is a proud companion with the Cree Nation Authorities, the Cree Trappers Affiliation and the Eeyou Marine Area Wildlife Board. Data gathered about chicken populations throughout our expedition will help the Cree authorities and native communities of their work to establish potential protected areas and assist with wildlife administration selections.













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