Manitoba Fall Hawk Watch – 9 September 2023.
Group 1. Katharine Schulz covered an area from Winnipeg to the Portage la Prairie vicinity, covering both sides of the Assiniboine River. This time she was on her own. Highlights included two Great Egrets, two adult and 24 juvenile Wild Turkeys, three Eastern Wood-Pewees and three species of vireo. Her total species list for the day was 81, highest-ever for the route.
Group 2. Cathy Swiderek, James Whitelaw, Jennifer Clark. The group visited Birds Hill P.P., Patricia, Grand and Victoria Beaches and the Traverse Bay Dump. Some of the highlights included Trumpeter Swan, Semipalmated Plover and Cape May Warbler. 50 species in total.
Group 3. Rob Parsons, Jo Swartz and Betsy Thorsteinson drove from Winnipeg, via the Carman sewage lagoons and Morden to the Windygates area and looped back via the Kaleida Marshes. Their tally for the day was 62 species, which included 12 species of duck, a Eurasian Collared-Dove and a Say’s Phoebe. Their most abundant species was Brewer’s Blackbird, with 1000+.
Group 4. Lindsey Bylo and Joel Kayer. Welcome aboard! This is a new count, with a route about 100 km long covering an area WSW of The Pas. Notably species were Eastern Kingbird and Lapland Longspur, plus 846 Common Grackles. 39 species in total.
Group 5. Luc Blanchette, Al Schritt and Marvin Koop were at Holo Crossing (Windygates) from 9:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. They had the highest number of Broad-winged Hawks for the day, at 40.
Group 6. Andy Courcelles and Gene Walz recorded 10 species of raptor, between Winnipeg, Oak Hammock Marsh and Hecla Island. Some notable species included 13 Trumpeter Swans, two Tundra Swans, an Eastern Kingbird, a tardy Cliff Swallow and 25 Bobolinks. They recorded 82 species.
Group 7. John Weier and Cam Nikkel had a productive day following their route from Winnipeg to Delta, Lynch Point and back via Portage la Prairie. As is usual, that route produced the highest number of bird species – 100. They noted 12 species of duck, one Ruby-throated Hummingbird, a Caspian Tern, two Great Egrets and a Great Horned Owl, plus an early Rusty Blackbird.
Group 8. Ward Christianson and Marlene Waldron drove via West Shoal Lake to St. Ambroise and Delta and included a stop at the PR. 227 dump. Their 77 species included Sora, Black-bellied Plover and American Golden-Plover, Caspian Tern and Lesser Black-backed Gull. The latter was at the PR. 227 dump. They reported the highest umbers of redtails and harriers and were the only group to report Rough-legged Hawk and Peregrine Falcon.
Group 9. Cal Cuthbert spent a few hours birding around his property at Portage Creek south of Delta.
Group 10. Peter Taylor and Rudolf Koes first visited Walter Chryplywy Nature Park at Beausejour and then drove through the countryside to the Brightstone Hutterite Colony, Lac du Bonnet, along the Winnipeg River to Pine Falls and back via the Brokenhead River and Beausejour to Winnipeg. Virtually all their Turkey Vultures were found near the colony. Also of note were two Red-headed Woodpeckers at the Beausejour Cemetery and two Red Crossbills along the Brokenhead River. Peter spotted the Osprey on his way home in Winnipeg. Species total was 70.
Thank you to all participants. It was a fine day weather-wise and a pleasure to be outside. Raptor totals far exceeded those of the past few years, which was encouraging, with an uptick in Turkey Vultures, Northern Harriers, Broad-winged Hawks and Red-tailed Hawks.
Report by Rudolf Koes.