Douglas Marsh IBA

It was notable yesterday that the vegetation at Douglas Marsh might be changing. In recent years, the areas that folk use to listen for Yellow Rails, along PR340, has been dominated by tall cattails. Right now it looks like the sedges may be taking over again.

If this is the case, there should be some good listening opportunities for rails this year!

Just be careful of the road (maybe wear a high visibility vest).

Oak Lake and Plum Lakes IBA and Deleau

Following a fun morning workshop at Oak Lake Community School yesterday (May 9th), I (Tim), took a quick drive south through the Oak Lake and Plum Lakes IBA. There were plenty of waterfowl in the wetlands north and east of the Oak Lake Resort, including a few Tundra Swan. Shorebird numbers were few. In my view, the water levels were a bit too high, and the area of exposed wet mud too low for these birds. I did check out some of our shorebird monitoring route, and found around 30 American Avocets, a Solitary Sandpiper, Wilson’s Phalarope and plenty of yellowlegs.

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Tundra Swans at Oak Lake and Plum Lakes IBA. Copyright Tim Poole

Here are the counts from quick outing.

Species Count
Snow Goose 3
Canada Goose 32
Tundra Swan 16
Wood Duck 2
Blue-winged Teal 39
Northern Shoveler 20
Gadwall 24
American Wigeon 2
Mallard 40
Green-winged Teal 2
Canvasback 14
Redhead 4
Ring-necked Duck 16
Greater Scaup 2
Lesser Scaup 50
Bufflehead 8
Hooded Merganser 12
Ruddy Duck 2
Pied-billed Grebe 4
Red-necked Grebe 13
Eared Grebe 2
Mourning Dove 4
American Coot 2
American Avocet 28
Killdeer 5
Wilson’s Phalarope 1
Solitary Sandpiper 1
Greater Yellowlegs 1
Lesser Yellowlegs 16
Franklin’s Gull 30
Double-crested Cormorant 1
American White Pelican 6
Turkey Vulture 1
Northern Harrier 1
Swainson’s Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Northern Flicker 2
American Kestrel 4
Blue Jay 1
Black-billed Magpie 2
American Crow 2
Common Raven 1
Purple Martin 1
Tree Swallow 40
Black-capped Chickadee 1
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
Marsh Wren 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
Swainson’s Thrush 1
American Robin 8
European Starling 2
Chipping Sparrow 4
Dark-eyed Junco 1
White-crowned Sparrow 2
White-throated Sparrow 1
Savannah Sparrow 12
Swamp Sparrow 4
Yellow-headed Blackbird 400
Western Meadowlark 10
Red-winged Blackbird 200
Brown-headed Cowbird 2
Brewer’s Blackbird 30
Common Grackle 40
Orange-crowned Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 6
House Sparrow 12

Heading back towards Winnipeg on Highway 2, I came across several thousand geese at the bend in the highway east of Deleau. In total, I estimated at least 6,000 geese, primarily Snows. in among the Snows were some smaller white morph Ross’s and Greater White-fronted (I had down around 100 of this species). There were also Cakling Geese mixed in with the Canada’s

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Some of the nearly 5000 Snow Goose at Deleau. Copyright Tim Poole

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Launching Snow Geese. Copyright Tim Poole

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A number of Greater White-fronted Geese were dotted around the area. Copyright Tim Poole

So a great chance to see all five typical Manitoba spring migrating geese if you are in the area. There were also a few more shorebirds, including Willet and Marbled Godwit in this spot.

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Preening Willet. Copyright Tim Poole

This corner is currently just outside the IBA boundary. On yesterdays evidence, the boundary might need a rethink!