Birded the southwest again and had a number of new species including Connecticut Warbler which was missed on my first trip. Overall, the flooding of roads was still a problem with navigating around the southwest. Fortunately Route 19 in Riding Mountain National Park was now open which gave us access to a great area for birding. Also, Lake Audey road was open to the Bison preserve and we were able to have great views of the herd and finally got a Western Wood Pewee and a number of Mourning Warblers along the road.
A Red-winged Blackbird in hot pursuit of an American Bittern over Douglas Marsh.
The Red-winged Blackbird landed on the bitterns back and held on!
Still holding on, the Red-winged Blackbird pecks at the bitterns back before letting go. .
One of many old farm houses in southwestern Manitoba.
A White-tailed Jack Rabbit off to the races.
Still lots of flooding in southwestern Manitoba.
The Loggerhead Shrike is a local specialty in the southwest.
The Lark Sparrow is easy to recognize by its distinctive facial marking.
A Clay-coloured Sparrow with lunch for the young near Lyleton.
A Black Bear crosses the road along Audey Lake Road.
A male Connecticut Warbler in full song at Riding Mountain National Park.
The Connecticut Warbler walks along the branch, not hopping as most of warblers do.
A White-tailed Deer gets a surprise visitor, a female Brown-headed Cowbird.
After a few seconds the White-tailed Deer nudges the cowbird.
The birding continues to be interesting at Churchill despite the cool temperatures (low -2c/high 6c) and windy conditions over the past 4 days. The amount of ice on the bay and river changes everyday depending on wind direction. Recent highlights have been 1 male Magnolia Warbler along Twin Lakes Rd. on June 16th, 6 adult Little Gulls along Hydro Road just south of the Marina (June 14, 16), 1 Greater White-fronted Goose (June 14) along Goose Creek Road and 1 Ross's Goose ( June 15,16) at the Granary Ponds. Still good numbers of Lapland Longspur (250+) and a few Snow Bunting (8) at the Granary Ponds and the Old Churchill Dump. A visit to Twin Lakes on June 16th produced 3 Spruce Grouse (2 displaying along Cook St. ), a pair of Brown Creeper, nesting?, but no three-toed woodpeckers. A couple of Bohemian Waxwing flew over calling and 2 Smith's Longspur were heard singing along the open stretch of tundra enroute to the old burn site. Late migrant shorebirds included Black-bellied Plover (June 14), White-rumped and Baird's Sandpiper (June 16), Ruddy Turnstone (June 17) and Sanderling ( June 14), all on June 16 The Brown Thrasher was observed on June 17th, near the Cape Merry and 1 White-winged Crossbill was seen along Goose Creek Road. The variety of gulls along the Churchill River is still good with Glaucous, Iceland and Thayer's off the harbour or Cape Merry. Other species of note included 1 Red-tailed Hawk (June 17th), 2 Barn Swallow (June 13th) , and 1 male Harris's Sparrow along Landing Lake Rd. Always a highlight at Churchill were 20+ Belugas' close to shore along the Churchill River at Cape Merry yesterday, first sighting June 14th.
Arrived at Churchill late June 12th and made a quick trip out to Cape Merry. There were numerous Common Eider, Red-throated Loon, Red-breasted Merganser, Long-tailed Duck, American Pipit, White-crowned Sparow and Lapland Longspur. The Churchill River was free of ice and Hudson Bay was open but with large areas of ice. At 5:45a.m, June 13th, my first bird of the day was a Brown Thrasher in the parking lot at the Seaport Hotel. It was still present this evening at 8:00p.m. At 11:15a.m. we observed a male Varied Thrush along Coast Road just south of the tanks. Unfortunately could not relocate the bird. Gull watching was excellent with 9 species including 1 adult California, 1 Iceland, 1 Glaucous, 1 Thayer's, 1 Little and 1 Sabine's Gull, all along the Churchill River in the area of the gravel/observation point near the Grain Elevators. Also, 1 adult Sabine's Gull at the Weir. Still a small number of Lapland Longspur and 1 Snow Bunting at the Granary Ponds along with Ruddy Turnstone, Baird's and White-rumped Sandpiper. The waterfowl numbers were good along Goose Creek Road with 2 male Blue-winged Teal, 2 male Ring-necked Duck, 1 female Bufflehead and 1 Trumpeter Swan all in the Weir area. A Northern Mockingbird was observed at Miss Piggy but not relocated. A great start to birding the "Pelee of the North".
The White-crowned Sparrow is a common breeder in the Churchill region.
A Wilson's Snipe near the Granary Ponds.
A Red Fox watching over her pups.
Two of the three pups watching us.
A Hudsonian Godwit along Goose Creek Road.
The Common Eider is a regular breeder in the Churchill Region.
A view of the Grain Elevator at Churchill.
Ice conditions on Hudson Bay.
The Blue-winged Teal is a rare but increasing visitor to the Churchill region.
A Brown Thrasher searches for food outside the Seaport Hotel. The Brown Thrasher is a rare but regular visitor to the Churchill Region.
The Arctic Tern is a long distance migrant, summering in the Arctic and wintering in the Antarctic. In the Churchill Region it is a regular breeder.
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.