Another beautiful day birding in the Churchill area with lots of activity. Our day started early at 5:30a.m. with an adult Long-tailed Jaeger off the Grain Elevator. At the Granary Ponds there was a large concentration of gulls (150+) including 1 adult CALIFORNIA GULL, 1 Iceland Gull, 3 Thayer's Gull and 1 Glaucous Gull. These birds have been attracted to the area by a dumping of grain, along with Lapland Longspur, Snow Bunting, House Sparrow and Ruddy Turnstone. Looks great for something really good! Along Launch Road we observed a male Harris' Sparrow near the Camp Nanuk turnoff. At the old burn site near Twin lakes there were 2 Bohemian Waxwing, both Gray Jay and Boreal Chickadee and an EASTERN KINGBIRD fly catching. Other species included Blackpoll Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Fox Sparrow, and Lincoln's Sparrow. During the afternoon mainly birded Goose Creek Road where we heard and saw 1 NELSON'S SPARROW near the Weir and 7 Sabine's Gull and 1 Little Gull from the observation tower at the Marina. Another Sabine's Gull was at Akudlik Marsh. Other migrants today included Alder Flycatcher and Gray-cheeked Thrush.
Good Birding, Bruce
A pair of Common Loon on West Twin Lake.
The Churchill River was still full of ice floes.
The Bald Eagle is an uncommon visitor to the Churchill area during June.
The Gray Jay is a regular sight at Twin Lakes.
The Thayer's Gull is a regular visitor to the Churchill area.
The Red-necked Phalarope breeds at the Granary Ponds near the Grain Elevator.
A view of Prince of Wales Fort from Cape Merry.
The American Golden-Plover is easy to overlook while feeding.
The Fox Sparrow is a summer resident of wet willow thickets and wooded areas. Best location is Goose Creek and Hydro Road.
The birding today at Churchill was excellent. Unlike last year at this time ( lots of snow, ice and flooding!) we arrived mid morning to no snow except for a few remaining drifts in the woods or shaded areas, Churchill River open and Hudson Bay mainly frozen but with large leads open. Lots of bird activity at the mouth of the river and Hudson Bay. There were good numbers of loons with 130+ Red-throated, 75 Pacific and 1 Common Loon. Hundreds of diving ducks could be seen feeding and flying including Common Eider, all 3 scoters, Long-tailed Duck, both Common and Red-breasted Merganser. Earlier in the morning 2 male King Eiders were observed off Cape Merry. There was a big increase in Arctic Terns, with a few hundred seen in various areas including Cape Merry, Akudlik Marsh and the Weir. There was also a good number of Sabine's Gulls with 11 at Cape Merry, 1 at Akudlik Marsh, 7 at the Marina and 5 at the Weir. May have some duplication but an amazing sight! Still a good number of shorebirds moving through the area with flocks of Baird's, Stilt, White-rumped, Semipalmated and Least Sandpiper. Also, a few Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Black-bellied Plover and Pectoral Sandpiper. Had a few flocks of Lapland Longspur 200+, Snow Bunting 150+, mainly in the Weir, Marina, and Granary Pond areas. Other land birds of note included Pine Grosbeak, Common Redpoll, American Pipit, Rusty Blackbird, and 1 Northern Shrike. Overall a great start to the week! Good birding, Bruce Di Labio
The Pine Grosbeak is an uncommon summer breeder.
A view off Cape Merry showing the break up of ice on Hudson Bay.
A pair of Bufflehead at the Weir.
A Baird's Sandpiper feeding along Goose Creek Road.
Finished up birding in the south today with visits to Whitewater Lake W.M.A., Pelican Lake and Spruce Woods Provincial park area. Overall it was a good day birding. Our first visit was to Whitewater where we had 1 Great Egret, 12 White-faced Ibis and 6 California Gull from the parking lot. With high water levels we didn't see any migrant shorebirds. The drive in and out was very muddy and slippery. On Pelican Lake the highlight was a Clark's Grebe. There were over 100+ Western Grebe on the lake along with lots of Am. White Pelican, a large mixed flock of Redhead, Canvasback and Ruddy Ducks. At the marina there were 150+ gulls roosting with at least 3 California Gull. On the water 10+ Bonaparte's Gull and 30+ Black Terns were seen feeding. Our final stop before heading back to Winnipeg was in the Spruce Woods Provincial Park area. We observed 4 Lark Sparrow, 20+ Eastern Bluebird, and 1 Common Nighthawk. Tomorrow off to Churchill!
Well named, Pelican Lake is home to a small number of Am. White Pelicans.
A pair of Western Grebe on Pelican Lake.
The Purple Martin complex at Boissevain was full of nesting Purple Martins.
Even a few House Sparrows found a room at the Inn.
Today, June 7th, spent the day birding RMNP. The birding was excellent with a good variety of warblers mainly along route 19. A total of 19 species were observed or heard including 2 Connecticut, 10 Mourning, 8 Canada, and excellent numbers of Tennessee, Cape May and Bay-breasted Warbler. Other species of note included 3 Gray Jay, 3 Boreal Chickadee, 1 Black-backed Woodpecker, 4 Olive-sided Flycatcher and small flocks of both Evening Grosbeak and Pine Siskin. A total of 110 species were observed for the day.
Good Birding, Bruce Di Labio
A male Mourning Warbler showing its gray hood and black chest patch.
Tennessee Warblers could be heard singing everywhere along Route 19.
A flock of male Evening Grosbeaks picking up grit along the road.
Always a challenge to see, this male Connecticut Warbler put on a great show.
Note the conspicuous eye ring on the male Connecticut Warbler.
Black Bears were numerous on our visit to RMNP.
A total of 6 bears were observed.
A male Bay-breasted Warbler feeding in a spruce tree.
Our first stop today was at Douglas Marsh. Lots of activity including 4 Le conte's Sparrow, 2 Nelson's Sparrow, 8 Sedge Wren and 2 Yellow Rail. The rails were calling from the west side of the road. Along Waggle Springs Road watched a small group of 10 Sharp-tailed Grouse displaying. At the south end of Waggle Springs Road had a few Chestnut-collared Longspur, 1 Spraque's Pipit , 2 Grasshopper Sparrow, along with 2 Lark Sparrow. Further west observed 2 Loggerhead Shrike, 1 near Broomhill and the second along Hwy. 345 near Bernice. There was 1 Snow Goose along the Souris River near Coulter.
Good Birding, Bruce Di Labio
While driving south of Brandon on Hwy. 10 we spotted 2 baby Wilson's Snipe standing in the middle of the road.
We made a quick stop before any traffic came by and walked them off to the vegetation along the road side.
Sharp-tailed Grouse were still on "leks" near Shilo. We watched 10 males dancing and displaying.
The Loggerhead Shrike is a scarce breeder in southern Manitoba.
A male Lark Sparrow in full display as a nearby female watches.
The distinctive head and tail marking make it a very striking sparrow.
A Grasshopper Sparrow in full song.
Cliff Swallows gathering mud to build nests.
A White-tailed Jack Rabbit in full stride.
The Vesper Sparrow is one of the most common sparrows found in the southwest. Note the white outer tail feathers and eye ring.
Ontario Field Ornithologists' Ethical Birding Principles As the number of birders increases, we must all make every effort to act in a positive and responsible way. We must also convey responsible image to non-birders who may be affected by our activities. Most people appreciate birds but this appreciation can be quickly destroyed by the irresponsible actions of a handful of birders.
In the past a code of ethics was not considered necessary, but times have changed and as more and more pressure is put on our environment it is essential to do whatever we can to lead by example. Each of us must show consideration to other birders, landowners, habitat, birds and other wildlife at all times. We are ambassadors of birding and our actions today will reflect the respect we receive in the future.
The welfare of the birds must come first. Whatever your interest, from scientific study to listing, always consider the impact of your activity on the bird. Respect bird protection laws. We are all responsible to ensure we abide by them at all times.
Habitat protection. Habitat is vital for the existence of birds and we must ensure that our activities cause minimum damage to our environment. Use trails to avoid trampling vegetation. Keep disturbance to a minimum. Although some birds can tolerate human activity, this varies from species to species and from season to season. Use common sense and extreme caution around nests. Migrants may be tired and hungry and should not be kept from resting or feeding. When photographing birds, study their reaction and if they become agitated, back off. Avoid the use of flash photography on owls. Tape recordings and similar methods of attracting birds may cause stress for territorial birds. They should be used sparingly and avoided in heavily birded areas. Do not deliberately flush birds. Patience is often rewarded.
Rare breeding birds. If you discover a rare breeding bird, do not feel under any obligation to report your find to other birders. Record the details of your discovery. You may wish to file the nest with the Ontario Nest Records Scheme at the Royal Ontario Museum. Avoid visiting known sites of rare breeding birds unless they can be viewed from a distance without disturbance.
Rare birds. Rare migrants or vagrants are the species most sought after by birders. If you discover a rarity, consider the circumstances carefully before releasing the information. You must take responsibility for the decision to release the find. You should consider whether an influx of birders will disturb the bird, people or other species in the area; whether habitat will be damaged; and where people will park. Inform the landowner of the find, explain what may happen and obtain permission to tell other birders. Ask the landowner for a list of dos and don'ts, for example, where birders may stand to get a good view and what restrictions there may be on time of day. Also ask which areas are off limit. If you decide to release the news, give precise directions and instructions. If possible include a phone number. At all times make as little noise as possible. Remember, most non-birders will be surprised by the number of visitors who wish to see a rare bird.
Respect the rights of landowners and occupiers of land. Before entering an area, be aware of the rules about access such as by-laws of Conservation Authorities, National and Provincial Parks, and Regional Authorities. Many landowners and authorities allow birders access to areas normally off limits. Always act in a responsible way and if you are asked to leave, do so immediately. Do not block gateways or cause damage to fences, and leave gates as you find them. Do not obstruct people who may be working in these areas.
Have proper consideration for other birders. When telephoning for information, do so at reasonable hours of the day. Try not to disrupt other birders’ activities or scare the birds they are watching. Many other people enjoy the outdoors; do not interfere with their activities. Be polite to other birders and helpful to beginners. If you see people obviously disturbing birds or significantly damaging habitat, explain to them the effect of their actions but be courteous, they may not be aware of the effect they are having. Increase our knowledge about birds. Keep notes of your sightings and send them to area compilers. Send rare bird reports to the Secretary, Ontario Bird Records Committee.
When birding in other countries, provinces or regions. Find out if there is a local code of ethics or any special rules that should be respected.