Welcome to Birdquest
Tuesday 1st June - Tuesday 15th June 2010
This tour always has plenty of birds and experiences to offer and this year was no exception. Imagine watching the elusive, sought after Baird’s Sparrow singing in remnant native grasslands in the southwest corner of the province or observing the intriguing territorial displays of a stunning cock Spruce Grouse mere meters away in Riding Mountain National Park’s wondrous boreal forest or even being interrupted from spying a singing Harris’s Sparrow in the taiga at Churchill by an overhead flock of vocal Trumpeter Swans. There was indeed something for everyone. The early spring experienced this year in southern Manitoba was not conducive to large numbers of lingering migrants and many species were already well established on their breeding territories. Nevertheless we netted a respectable 252 species between us including 31 species of waterfowl, 26 species of shorebirds, 7 species of owls (all but one well seen under natural light conditions), all 8 species of woodpeckers and 22 species of wood warblers to mention a few. Besides the previously mentioned birds some other delights included Ross’s Goose, Ferruginous Hawk, Grey Partridge, Yellow Rail, American Woodcock, Thayer’s Gull, Sabine’s Gull, Great Grey Owl, Red-headed and American Three-toed Woodpecker, Sprague’s Pipit, Connecticut Warbler, Sharp-tailed Sparrow, Smith’s Longspur, Black-headed Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, Pine Grosbeak and Hoary Redpoll. Mammals were also well represented and in Riding Mountain National Park five Black Bears including one feeding close to the van, a Lynx (not seen by all), several Beavers and three Moose (including a cow with her calf and a bull jogging beside the van) were seen. An impressive Arctic Hare was among the boulders at Churchill as were several White Whales in the Churchill River.