Volunteers Needed for Summer IBA Blitzes

Good afternoon everyone

Firstly, we will be going ahead with a blitz of Oak Lake and Plum Lakes IBA next Sunday, June 19th. Start time tbd but probably between 7-8. We have enough people for 2-3 teams currently but it would be great if we could get more folk coming along to really give the IBA Program in the area some additional help. This is a globally important IBA, mainly for waterbirds but also has a mix of habitats making it an interesting area to bird. I will be leaving with a few people from Winnipeg early in the morning if anyone else might be interested.

We are also looking to do a couple of blitzes in other southwestern IBAs by the end of the 2016 season. The plans currently are:

July 15 or 16 – Southwestern Manitoba Mixed-grass Prairie IBA

We would be monitoring breeding birds, however in this case we will target Species At Risk, especially Sprague’s Pipit, Chestnut-collared Longspur, Loggerhead Shrike, Ferruginous Hawk and Baird’s Sparrow, plus other rarities such as Grasshopper Sparrow and Bobolink.

Last year we did this in 5 teams and that would be my intention for 2016. We also managed to get permission to enter a few properties and again, I would hope to replicate this. We would start early and meet for lunch at the Chicken Chef in Melita. We have a few folk who will likely come from Winnipeg but again we would love getting volunteers from the Southwest. I would also be really keen to team up some local people with our IBA volunteers.


Ferruginous Hawk in the Southwestern Manitoba Mixed-Grass Prairie IBA. Photo copyright Tim Poole

August 7 – Whitewater Lake

We would target the large concentrations of shorebirds in the ephemeral wetlands. There were large populations across these wetlands in 2015 and we suspect there may be globally important congregations passing through Whitewater. We will probably go for the Sunday and get groups to cover the lake edges (or nearest roads) and some of the potholes to the north and west finishing in Boissevain for lunch. Again we can provide gas cards for people who travel further.

Spaces might be limited on these blitzes depending on interest so please let me know if you would like to join us for some fun birding!


This Virginia Rail peeked his head through the grass at Whitewater Lake IBA in 2015. And maybe 2016? Photo by Tim Poole