Last weekend (May 7th) Christian Artuso of the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas and Tim Poole, IBA Coordinator were invited to deliver a workshop on the IBA Program to local people in Winnipegosis. In this first blog, Tim describes the first part of the journey to Winnipegosis and a brief visit to Marshy Point IBA.
Late Friday morning Christian and I set out for Winnipegosis. We had a rough plan of action for the day which involved checking out a couple of IBAs before hitting the Narrows. Marshy Point was the first of these IBA’s. Although mostly present on privately-owned land, parts of Marshy Point can be accessed by public road. The IBA is nestled on the eastern shore of Lake Manitoba west of Highway 6 between Oak Point and Lundar.
Most of the IBA is private and cannot be accessed by volunteers. However there are some possibilities for recording bird data if you do not mind leaving the highway for a short period. The IBA can effectively be split into three zones for monitoring purposes:
We did not access the IBA along the southern and central access routes but for completion, here are the access maps on Google Earth Images:
Further north we drove and then turned west off Highway 6, heading towards the hatchery road. The fish hatchery on Lake Manitoba is within the IBA and our ultimate destination was the parking area where provincial fisheries staff take the boat across to the hatchery. The route we took can be seen from our GPS track below:
In total we were able to record 36 species in and around the IBA, including our first shorebirds of the day, two Wilson’s Phalaropes in a small pool. In addition there was a group of 16 Lesser Yellowlegs among the cattails and 13 species of waterfowl. It would be interesting given time to explore the other areas on the maps above to determine where best for birds in the accessible part of the IBA. There were also American White Pelicans and a Great Blue Heron in flight, plus a failed attempt at photographing Gadwalls with their white speculum showing.
Onwards we headed towards the Narrows, next stop, Dog Lake IBA.