Sunday, June 5, 2011

June 4-5, 2011 Birding Southwestern Manitoba

Spent June 4- 5 birding various sites in the southwest and extreme southwest. Many fields had standing water and there was substantial flooding along Souris River. Areas such as Coulter Park and the bridge at 12N were flooded. With many roads closed, especially in the Broomhill-Poverty Plains area and lot of standing water in the pasture land is was difficult to find some of the target species. I did manage to locate Ferruginous Hawk, Loggerhead Shrike, Say's Phoebe, Sedge Wren, Grasshopper Sparrow and Chestnut-collared Longspur. Most of these were found south of Pierson in the PR 256 and Antler Road 171W areas . On my way back to Brandon I made a brief stop at Whitewater Lake and again was greeted by high water levels but the road to the viewing mound was in good shape. Highlights included 16 White-faced Ibis, 2 Great Egret, 1 Cattle Egret along with 6 Red-necked Grebe, 3 Ring-necked Duck, 7 Hooded Merganser and 5 Bufflehead. The only shorebird habitat was in the flooded field as you drove down to the viewing parking lot and I observation 11 Stilt Sandpiper and 3 Ruddy Turnstone.

Many fields are still flooded in the southwest.

Blue-winged Teals were easy to find along with many other species of puddle ducks.

A Black-crowned Night-Heron at Whitewater Lake.

An Upland Sandpiper stands on a fence post watching another one across the dirt road.

A Loggerhead Shrike coming in for landing on a fence line near Lyleton.

The Ferruginous Hawk is an uncommon breeder in the extreme southwest.

Cliff Swallows building nests near Broomhill.

A Gadwall resting on a bail of hay in a flooded field.

Likely a result of all the standing water, I heard over 30+ Sora calling in the southwest.

High water along the Souris River resulted in many areas flooded including Coulter Park.

At Whitewater Western Grebes were easy to see along the road closeup due to the high water.

In Manitoba, the Chestnut-collared Longspur is primarily restricted to the extreme southwest nowadays.

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