Archives for 2018

On the road with our Important Bird Areas Staff

I am back at it again this summer with the Important Bird Area program! In the past month I have managed to put over three thousand kilometers on my rental vehicle, and have seen 99 bird species. The first week of June I focused on IBAs close to Regina. The first day I went to Valeport Marsh near Craven, and forced my boyfriend and his visiting mother to come with me. The highlight of the trip was the number of American Avocets we saw. The next day I travelled to Pelican Lake, which is a part of the Thundercreek Heritage Marsh. There was a good variety of birds, and lots of cormorants. I even found a couple of male Bobolinks. On Friday, I headed up to Buffalo Pound Provincial Park to monitor Nicolle Flats with the caretaker. We hunted for some Yellow-breasted Chats, and managed to hear a couple of them. We walked through the marsh, and some native prairie, and saw 48 species of bird.


Photo credit: Val Thomas


The following week, I had planned to be on the road all week north of Regina. I started my week at Tobin Lake, and monitored it with the caretaker and a volunteer. We managed to find 51 species over the day. The highlight for me was finding fledgling Killdeer. The next day I had planned to monitor only Ponass Lake. Instead I did three different IBAs on my way back to Regina. I started at Ponass Lake. This IBA is also part of the Heritage Marsh Program, and you can get a lot of species just from the road. It was only about 1:00pm when I finished. The Quill Lakes was the next IBA I had planned to monitor. I drove to where the road ends, and walked around Big Quill Lake. I was lucky enough to see some White-rumped Sandpipers. The next IBA I had planned to monitor that week, only takes about half an hour to monitor. So I went down to Foam Lake and finished up my day by watching all the Franklin’s Gulls in the marsh. This past week, I was volunteering to help conduct brood searches for Sage Grouse near Grasslands National Park. Unfortunately we did not see any grouse, but we did see lots of Common Nighthawks, and two Yellow-bellied Racer. I also probably got stronger legs from all the hiking. In the upcoming week I am monitoring Big Muddy Lake, Coteau Lake, Eyebrow Lake, and Old Wives Lake. For the rest of my summer, I will be all over Saskatchewan monitoring IBAs and doing public education in provincial and regional parks.


Photo credit: Dorothy Wark


Until next time,

Jordan Rustad

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