Tuesday, June 21, 2011

June 18-20, 2011 birding Southwest Manitoba

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.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

June 16-17, 2011 Belugas at Churchill.

More photos from Churchill, June 16 & 17.

A Harbour Seal at Cape Merry was very curious.

An Adult Beluga.

The Belugas' first entered the Churchill River on June 14th and by June 17th a pod of 20+ was observed feeding off Cape Merry. (Adults with young)

A Beluga surfaces and blows.

A Common Eider coming in for a landing at Cape Merry.

A Gray Jay at Twin Lakes.

A pair of Long-tailed Ducks along Launch Road.

Merlins at Twin Lakes old burn site.

With a nest nearby the adults were very vocal.

A Red Fox with its morning catch.

A least 3 male Spruce Grouse were displaying in the Twin Lakes area this season.

A banded Hudsonian Godwit along Twin Lakes Road is part of many studies that go on at the Church Northern Studies Center each year.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June 14-17, 2011 More birding Churchill, Manitoba

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.

Good Birding, Bruce

Horned Lark

Orange-crowned Warbler

Short-billed Dowitcher

White-rumped Sandpiper

Willow Ptarmigan

Willow Ptarmigan

Yellow Warbler



Little Gull

Little Gull

Greater White-fronted Goose

Boreal Chickadee and Pine Grosbeak

Boreal Chickadee

Sunday, June 12, 2011

June 12-13, 2011 Churchill birding!

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.