by Patricia Rosa
Following our birding adventure in Whitewater Lake IBA (part 1), we joined a group of nature enthusiasts at the Legion Hall in the town of Oak Lake for a talk by Dr. Robert Wrigley. He introduces us to the diverse and colourful world of Tiger Beetles and their reliance on appropriate sandhill habitat such as Manitoba’s Routledge Sandhills.
Once we arrived at Cherry Point, Robert Wrigley was ready with his net, Tim and Christian set up their scopes, and the kids were eager to learn and see new things!
The water was speckled with a ton of bobbing white spots (642 to be precise). Tim explained to the young naturalists that these were Franklin’s Gull, and they attempted to count them in his scope. Overhead, Northern Rough-winged Swallow were flying around. Cedar Waxwing and a couple Baltimore Oriole were also seen.
Lynnea went on a solo expedition around the area and reported seeing or hearing Least and Great Crested Flycatcher, and American Redstart. Eastern and Western Kingbird particularly captivated the kids! As the kingbirds flew around the site, they were ready with their binoculars in hopes of getting a glimpse.
The kids were not the only ones excited about all the birds present at Cherry Point that evening. An Orchard Oriole was heard, and Bonnie was eager to get her first OROR-sighting of the year! Which she did!
Although we were initially worried that bird diversity would be low at such a late hour in the day, we were pleasantly surprised! Over the course of this short 60-min walk, we observed 35 different bird species, and managed to captivate the interest of potential future IBA advocates!
Take a look at our evening Bird Walk count on Cherry Point Educational Nature Trail situated in the Oak Lake/Plum Lakes IBA: