The year is almost ended, there is little time remaining, and everyone is doing their year in review. Here are some of the highlights from our year at Manitoba IBA:
A New Workparty
We tried something new, and decided to start picking up garbage, mainly discarded angling material from St Ambroise Beach. We collected quite the pile.
Back to the bar
We managed two more weed pulls at Sandy Bar in 2018. The first, in August attracted quite the crowd.
The second pull had a smaller crowd, the wind and cold were horrific, but then again, who cares when you can see Red Knots on the tip!
We had a fair few blitz events this year. A visit to Kinosota-Leifur scored over 50 Red-headed Woodpecker (it was World Cup final day after all), visits to North, West and East Shoal Lakes turned out some great numbers of Western Grebes and other waterbirds (spring blitz report here), a trip to Delta Marsh provided a really high species count, Oak Hammock gave us some lovely views of shorebirds on the front pond, and Oak Lake and Plum Lakes provided good counts of Franklin’s Gull, and grassland birds.
We also had a few great volunteer trip reports. Glennis provided one on a trip to Oak Lake, with Tundra Swans being very prominent. A few days earlier, Katharine did likewise in the same IBA. Photos can also tell a story, and Garry, John and John had quite the find at Delta Marsh in the fall. Not reported previously, but we also know of a Bonaparte Gull trigger in the same IBA in October. Top stuff!
We continue to work on grassland bird conservation. This year saw even more landowner surveys delivered in the southwest corner. We plan to publish a report in the New Year, summarising the monitoring results, but in the meantime, Lynnea gave a nice overview of her time out in the prairies. We also delivered a workshop in an indigenous community in this area of the prairies, and three workshops in local schools in Reston, Oak Lake and Pierson.
It’s not grim ‘oop north
As part of our northern outreach, Bonnie Chartier returned to Churchill and had some great success taking local members of the community to see some of the special birds of her home area. She was also, thanks to the generosity of Churchill Wild, able to spend a day at the Seal River IBA. Churchill Wild have been extremely generous in fact to the program in the past two years, and we would like to extend our thanks to Mike, Jeanne and the rest of their team for all their help.
Our Coordinator, Tim Poole also got to spend a night on an island on the Nelson River with members of Fox Lake Cree Nation.
Sandy Bay Marshes IBA
We did get out for a cold Grebe Watch in May. We have also given a couple of school IBA workshops in the area.
It’s been quite the year, with pilot routes of ISS route being delivered at Whitewater and Oak Lake. There are multiple reports on our website, but take a look here for a sample.
There will be many things missed, but all in all, it has been another exceptionally busy year for the program. Thank you to every volunteer and partner who has helped make 2018 a success, and we look forward to working with you in our special IBAs in 2019!