August IBA Contest and Result from July

August IBA Contest

August is a great month for shorebirds in Manitoba’s IBAs. You can also enter by submitting observations through our website at https://importantbirdareasmb.ca/submit-your-observations-comments/. At the end of the month we will do a draw of all eligible checklists for an opportunity to win a $50 gas card from Co-op, donated by Red River Co-op.

July’s contest was won by Jo Swartz, Betsy Thorsteinson, Kelsey Bell and Katherine Schulz for this checklist from our Shoal Lakes IBA Blitz – https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S58423556.

Summary update of Upcoming Events and News

Given we are now at the last day in July, I thought it would be a good time to send an update on the program, including some events coming up in August and a few other matters coming forward: Firstly, below is a list of events, with a link to more information on our website on the event.

Sunday August 11th

Shorebird Workshop, Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre – there are 13 spots remaining on this as of yesterday lunchtime, so please get in quick before we fill up.

Shorebirds Workshop at OHMIC 11th August 2019 WRSA

Friday August 16th

Weed pull at Riverton Sandy Bar IBA

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Saturday August 17th

Shorebird Blitz at Delta Marsh IBA

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Sunday August 25th

Shorebird blitz at Whitewater Lake IBA

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Earlier in July we had our latest blitz, a Red-headed Woodpecker search at the North, West and East Shoal Lakes IBA. You can read Kelsey Bells account at https://importantbirdareasmb.ca/2019/07/19/shoal-lakes-area-iba-red-headed-woodpecker-blitz/.

The final results are also available, including a map of the location of each pair at https://importantbirdareasmb.ca/2019/07/24/the-final-results-from-the-red-headed-woodpecker-blitz-at-shoal-lakes/.

We also had a small group from the Westman Naturalists check for Red-headed Woodpeckers at the Oak Lake and Plum Lakes IBA.

Finally, Christian Artuso will be leaving Bird Studies Canada today, and Manitoba by the end of next month. Christian has been a leading light in Manitoba bird conservation and monitoring programs for over a decade and will be sorely missed. We have a short piece on our website, and there is also a tribute on the Nature Manitoba website.

Christian Artuso – thank you!

Since 2012, Christian Artuso has served as the Chair of the Manitoba Important Bird Areas Program Steering Committee. We were recently sad to hear that Christian has accepted as post with the Canadian Wildlife Service in Ottawa. He will be leaving Bird Studies Canada at the end of this month and starting his new role in August, departing for Ottawa by the end of that month.

We will miss Christian’s incredible dedication to bird conservation in Manitoba, his enthusiasm, his warmth, quirky sense of humour and of course, his incredible birding skills which is always only so happy to pass on to everyone.

Without Christian’s support, we would have no IBA Program in Manitoba. Along with Carol Scott and Paula Grieef, it was Christian who worked to establish the program. For the three coordinators, it was Christian who would be our go-to person for advice, a sounding board, and a friend.

Christian is a well known figure in the Manitoba birding world. As well as his IBA involvement, he has been a long-standing committee member for the Manitoba Chimney Swift Initiative. He also served on various other committees, advising Masters and PhD students, the management of community pastures, the COSEWIC subcommittee for birds, and so much more. Of course Christian’s lasting legacy will be the superb manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas.

For these reasons Christian will be very much missed by the entire Manitoba birding community.

Thank you Christian for everything you have done for bird conservation in our province!

Sandy Bar Weed Pull-October 2018-Lynnea A Parker-1120814

Delta Marsh IBA Blitz, August 17th 2019

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Our next blitz will be a shorebird blitz of Delta Marsh IBA. We will be looking to fill 5 groups of between 2 and 4 people per group. We are focusing on finding large groups of shorebirds and potentially other waterbirds. We are also interested in recruiting 2 or 3 people willing to walk along the beaches of the IBA.

We will provide a light picnic lunch at the end of the morning.

Please email iba@naturemanitoba.ca to express an interest in registering.

Riverton Sandy Bar Weed Pull, August 16th

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Location: Meet at parking lot at Riverton Sandy Bar IBA – Click here for the location of the Riverton Sandy Bar Parking lot.

Date: Friday August 16th

Time: 8am to 12pm

Please note that there is no outhouse at this parking lot.  Closest bathrooms will be in the town of Riverton.

We are planning our second weed pull in 2019 at the Riverton Sandy Bar IBA.

The purpose of this Weed Pull is to once again clear an area of Sandy Bar to make the habitat more attractive to Piping Plover. This shorebird species last nested at Sandy Bar in 2004. With low lake levels and a large open sandy area we hope that the Piping Plover may once again make an appearance at Sandy Bar.

This is always a popular event. We are planning an earlier weed pull in 2019 following advice from botanists that we should pull the invasive clover before the fall when the plants turn to seed.

It would be great to have you join us on the 16th. Please feel free to forward this to others who may be interested in pulling weeds, meeting others and learning about the migrating birds at Sandy Bar.

Things to bring: Please bring:

  • Weather appropriate clothing and footwear
  • Gardening gloves if you have them
  • Binoculars
  • Water
  • a bagged lunch (coffee and snacks provided at start)
  • sunscreen
  • a hat
  • rain jacket if required

Please email iba@naturemanitoba.ca to express an interest in registering.