Sunday, June 12, 2011

June 8 -11, 2011 More birding Southwestern Manitoba

Spent the past 4 days birding R.M.N.P., Brandon area and extreme southwest Manitoba. Still lots of standing water, road closures, but great birding weather! Despite the road closure of Route 19 the birding was excellent in R.M.N.P. On June 8 and 9 birded various areas within the park and surrounding area. There was a good variety of warblers including Canada, Mourning, Cape May, loads of Tennessee, and a total of 18 species. Unfortunately didn't hear any Connecticut Warblers. Lots of Ruffed Grouse drumming, numerous Boreal Chickadee, a pair of both Black-backed and Am. Three-toed Woodpeckers, and a Black Bear. The Agassiz Ski Hill Road yielded 3 Golden-winged Warbler, Eastern Towhee, and indigo Bunting. On June 9 and 10 birded the Brandon area and again the extreme southwest. Overall, good birding with most of the specialties including Loggerhead Shrike, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Grasshopper Sparrow, Ferruginous Hawk, Chestnut-collared Longspur, and finally 3 Sprague's Pipit displaying. Still no luck with Baird's Sparrow. Other species of note included Orchard Oriole, Sedge Wren, Upland Sandpiper and 2 Snow Geese. Most of these observations were again in the PR 256 and Antler Road 171W area south of Pierson. On June 10 birded Douglas Marsh, the Shilo area, and Brandon Hills. Highlights included both Le Conte's and Nelson's Sparrow at DM, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Gray Partridge, Chestnut-collared Longspur, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Sprague's Pipit in the Shilo area, and Yellow-throated Vireo, Black-billed Cuckoo and Scarlet Tanager in the Brandon Hills.

Good Birding, Bruce

The striking Red-headed Woodpecker is a local species in southern Manitoba.

The Franklin's Gull is a common breeding species at Whitewater Lake.

A pair of Western Grebe's courting at Whitewater Lake.

An American Bittern tries to blend into the background.

The Chestnut-collared Longspur is a scarce breeder in south western Manitoba. One of the best areas is south of Pierson.

Another view of a Chestnut-collared Longspur on the ground.

The secretive Nelson's Sparrow
is sometimes easier to hear than to see.

A Sharp-tailed Grouse near
Pierson was easy to see in the short grass.

Sharp-tailed Grouse

Grasshopper Sparrow

The Sprague's Pipit is a local breeder in southwestern Manitoba. It is usually first detected by its song, a descending series of musical tzee, tzee notes given in flight, high overhead.

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