Monday, August 11, 2014

Churchill Day 1

Finally! A Churchill post.
My brother made a temporary title for my blog with some of the Churchill pictures. If you want to know all the birds we saw, look on the Churchill Bird Trax I temporarily put up. 

The first day we set out at 5:30 AM in the car for Thomson, where we would take the train at 5:30 PM to Churchill. Since we were up so early I was able to get pictures of the sunrise while we were driving.

Sunrise on Manitoba prairie

We stopped at Pisew Falls on the way and had lunch, there was a boardwalk around the impressive falls.
The board walk

Pisew Falls
 When we were on the road again, we stopped so I could take a picture of an Osprey on a nest.
Osprey fling from nest
 After an 18 hour ride on the train, we arrived on a misty morning in Churchill. We were planning to take a picture of our family in front of the sign but we decided to wait until after we settle into the hotel.
The Town of Churchill Sign

The first birding we did was at the Granary Ponds, where I got 7 lifers I think. The first being Arctic Tern, which greeted us as soon as we stepped out of the rented van by dive bombing us and bombing us.
Tern Shaking water off

Arctic Tern

I spotted the egg that it was so feircly guarding.
The Tern Egg
 Until after we got home I didn't know we had saw a Green-winged Teal, I photographed this family thinking they were mallards, but after looking at the picture, I spotted the green wing.

Arctic Tern
 On of the lifers was Short-billed Dowitcher, I spotted them across the ponds.
two Short-billed Dowitcher
 We saw a Red-breaster Merganser Hooded Merganser sitting on the water.
female Hooded Merganser
 I believe the bird below is a Lesser Yellowlegs, please correct me if I am wrong.
Lesser Yellowlegs (I think)

Arctic Tern sitting on rock
 Here is a picture of lots of the birds in the pond, American Black Ducks (lifer), Mallards, Red-necked Phalarope (lifer), Arctic Terns and Herring Gulls were the bulk of the birds in the pond.

The rest of the day was spent driving around Churchill, birding and looking for bears. We went to Cape Merry and saw some Whimbrels (lifer!), as well as a dying bear across the river.
Ring-billed Gull at Cape Merry

Whimbrels flying over Cape Merry

 There were also a lot of Sandhill cranes, apparently attracted by the grain from the grain from the trains.
Sandhill Cranes

Me birding at Cape Merry
 We went to the harbour and saw a family of Common Eiders (lifer) and an Osprey
Osprey diving

 I believe this is a Stilt Sandpiper Lesser Yellowlegs, though I am not 100% sure, please correct me if I am wrong!
Stilt Sandpiper Lesser Yellowlegs (I think)

Stay tuned for the next day of Churchill!!!


  1. great to see - have you got any other photos of the sandpiper?

    1. Yes, there were two of the birds, I have a couple pictures. I will email them to you. Do you know if it is a Stilt, and if the other shorebirds were Lesser Yellowlegs?

  2. Can't help with the shorebirds, but that merganser looks more like a Hooded with that rounded head and darker overall colour....

    Nice shots!

    1. Thanks!
      That's what I was actually thinking at first, but my brother had convinced me it was a Red-breasted, but now that you said and I looked at more pictures, it does look more like a Hooded Merganser.

  3. Those arctic terns are beautiful birds!