Saturday 30 May 2015

Spruce Woods Provincial Park Manitoba/Spirit Sands Part 7

May 20-21 Spruce Woods Provincial Park Manitoba Sunny 17/3c

In the morning I birded Regina's Rotary Park which is close to the Parliament buildings. The Saskatchewan River runs alongside and was a hive of activity. There was a migration of thrushes including Swainson's and Hermit Thrush. In the willows overhanging the river Blackpoll and Yellow Warblers fed on emerging insects. A Lincoln's Sparrow scratched the ground only to be bossed around by the Swainson's.

It was time to make my way to my next stop. Spruce Woods Provincial Park in Manitoba. It had been suggested I take a look and I wasn't disappointed. .

Prior to contact sand hills covered much of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The remnants of a large ocean has today been turned into rich grain bearing farmland, with it went the buffalo and a way of life.
 This map shows what remains in the three western provinces.

The birding was interesting, the scenery stunning and it was really, really hot. This is where the lightweight Tamron lens came in handy as I went on a three hour walk in blistering temperatures. I took some pictures of the signage to go along with my pictures. I used a Nikon P900 for the scenics on this trip. If I was shooting stock I would use a DSLR but I'm not and the P900 is just fine for the presentations I will put together later. I even use my iPhone which is only 5 meg, especially to let family know where I am

Eastern Ground Squirrel

Looking toward the Assiniboine River. A view of the surrounding forests from the sandhills,
This is the land of the Ojibwa, Cree and Assiniboine peoples

  This was a very large flycatcher which I thought might be Easter Wood PeeWee but the beak is all black and no wing bars. Eastern Phoebe but too light. Any thoughts ?

Unique to the area is the Western Hognose Snake and the Northern Prairie Skink Manitoba's only lizard. I saw neither.

Red Squirrel eating Maple tree flowers.

           Below the face of this bandit bird is forlorn as it looks on as a Red Squirrel steals its eggs.
Blue Jay watches as a Red Squirrel raids its nest.

Cliff Swallows near the campground. 

Wild grass at Sunset.

Swindon's Thrush. Thanks for the ID Mel. 
Note: I have already made a few ID errors which readers are quick to pick up. Please let me know if you think a birded is incorrectly labelled although I do try my best to ask local birders their opinion before publishing. Thanks 

"It's never too late to start birding"

John Gordon
BC Canada

1 comment:

  1. Hi John,
    You are truly doing a trip of a lifetime! wow! That blue jay is gorgeous but sad to hear her nest was raded. Poor thing. That is a swainson's thrush note the spectacled look and the buffy complete eye ring. Cheers.