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Two birding events are coming right up

The more you observe them, the more you notice about the winged creatures that travel our sky highway.
thumbnail_Southwestern Manitoba Shorebird ID Workshop

Westman Naturalists and raptors near Virden

Join some knowledgeable birders for a foray in the countryside near Virden on Saturday, Sept. 11. The opportunity has just been announced to join a Hawk Watch and there’s still a couple of spaces available if you sign up right away.

On Sept. 11 at 9 a.m. naturalists will gather at the viewpoint overlooking the Assiniboine Valley, north of Virden.

The invitation is extended to come and count hawks as they migrate South on Saturday morning. The hawk watch is a regular, yearly event and is part of a North America-wide effort to count migrating raptors. We usually see numerous birds floating by as they head south.

The group meets 8 a.m. in Brandon and travels to the valley look-out (about an hour from Brandon) or people can travel directly to the site.

Don't worry if your hawk ID skills need work, there will be plenty of others who have observed these birds.

Please bring a lawn chair if as it’s a game of patience and you could be in one spot for a few hours. Bring along snacks, coffee, etc. as needed... AND of course binoculars and a scope if you have one. A bird book could be helpful too.

The group expects to be Hawk-watching until just after lunch or thereabouts.

After the watch you can go home, or continue with a group who is planning to check out the birds at Oak Lake.

For Westman Naturalists, there is a limit of 15 for this outing. They are requiring both mask use and distancing; as well as no sharing of optics or food.

Please complete and submit the short form to sign-up. There will be a return email with specifics on Friday, September 10th.




Whats App: Westman Naturalists Group – for up-to-the-minute updates on Westman nature. You can share your sightings too. You will need a smart phone - to join please click on this link


Grab your camera and head to the marsh

Have you noticed the Deleau/Griswold marsh and places like Whitewater Lake are alive with communities of their own? Many species of water fowl are busy there. IBA enthusiasts and scientists have their eye on this part of the RM of Sifton and you can join them on Sept. 18 to see this land through the eyes of a bird lover.

While a marsh can seem like non-productive land, these are actually very necessary areas where surface water collects, providing moisture in the form of evaporation. These sloughs and marshes can also interact with the water table.  Bulrushes and reeds act as filters.

Shore birds, water fowl, and other wildlife depend upon these marshes. That is why conservationists including our watershed districts work to protect them.

With fall migration still ongoing through the month of September, Manitoba Important Bird Areas programs are ongoing as well.

The group’s first event is the long postponed practical component of the western Manitoba shorebird identification workshop held over from this spring when it was cancelled due to COVID-19. “While we will no longer be looking at the spring plumage of shorebirds, they are heading back through on fall migration and we will be able to learn to ID the fall plumage,” says Amanda Shave, Manitoba Important Bird Areas Coordinator.

The workshop will take place on Saturday, Sept. 18, at 8:30 a.m. The location is still to be decided but will include a combination of the Deleau Wetlands, Chain Lakes, Griswold Marsh and/ or Whitewater Lake.

“We will scout the sites out ahead of time and plan a good route closer to the workshop date to get optimum shorebird viewing opportunities in this dry year.” For more information or to sign up please email: