The Birds of Burntpoint Research Camp

A female long-tailed duck on her nest in the wetlands adjacent to Hudson Bay in Northern Ontario. I was searching for a nest of an arctic tern when Royal Ontario Museum Ornithologist Mark Peck said "there is a long tail nest here somewhere". I look over and this bird was 10 feet away. Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 600mm f/4 VRII.

I’ve been very slow to post many of the pictures from this June’s work at the Burntpoint Research Camp.  Least tern work has been very busy this summer and weekends are mostly spent recovering from a hard week in the field.

This is a few of the pictures I shot of birds at Burntpoint Creek.  The Burntpoint Creek Research Camp is located in Northern Ontario along the shore of Hudson Bay.  It is sub-arctic tundra habitat which hosts many species of nesting birds.  The most abundant of which is probably the Canada goose, and I’ll deal with them in a separate post.  There are numerous other species of waterfowl and many nesting shorebirds.  Ducks such as Pintail, green-winged teal, northern shovler, mallards, and long-tailed ducks are plentiful.  Shorebirds such as least sandpipers, dunlin, whimbrel, Hudsonian godwit and semipalmated plovers are easily seen.  We even had a nesting American golden plover.

This trip was mainly focused on research, and not photography.  To that end, the pictures aren’t everything I had hoped.  In spite of the remote location (the closest people are ~70 miles away), birds were generally wary.  While many would sit on the nest pretty well, those that were not on nest wouldn’t let you get anywhere near.  One of the most frustrating of these was the Hudsonian godwit.  There were plentiful across the landscape but just never allowed me to get anywhere close.  The Smith’s longspurs were also common, but completely uncooperative.  Oh well.



A female semipalmated plover attempts to lead her away from her nest using the classic "Broken Wing" display. Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 300mm f/4.


A male Smith's longspur sits up on some Lapland rosebay. Smith's longspur were common....but darned uncooperative when it came to getting their picture. Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 600mm f/4 VRII.


A female horned lark sitting on her nest in the tundra lichens near Hudson Bay. This female was super bold and allowed us to approach closely. Her camouflage is pretty amazing. Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 600mm f/4 VRII.


A parasitic jaeger comes in to check us out. Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 600mm f/4 VRII.


A whimbrel in the lapland rosebay. Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 600mm f/4 VRII.


A parasitic jeager comes in to land close to the nest. This bird was all but nesting in the pond. One of the eggs was actually in the water. Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 600mm f/4 VRII.


A nest of a semipalmated plover on the tundra. Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 600mm f/4 VRII.


This was one of the only short-billed dowitchers we saw while at Burntpoint Creek. I'm sure she flushed off a nest but I could never find it. Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 600mm f/4 VRII.
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