Thursday, October 8, 2015

Whitewater Lake

Sorry for taking so long.. I've been quite busy with school and stuff.

In early September, we went to Whitewater Lake with Christian Artuso. Thank you Christian for taking us!

Whitewater lake is quite a distance away, over a three hour drive. Whitewater Lake is a pretty large lake, for very southern Manitoba. It has dried up several times, but now it is getting deeper, and floods far beyond the range of the actual lake. It floods fields and creates perfect habitat for shorebirding.

Here is Whitewater on google maps:,-100.2831609,12.88z

Some of the roads on the map are very flooded, and are not adequate for means of transportation by a vehicle that is not meant for off road. Some of the old farm roads just lead through a sea of shallow water.

We stopped at a flooded field, first. There were lots of shorebirds (at least for me, I haven't seen a lot of shorebirds), and a few new kinds. Least Sandpipers, Baird's Sandpipers, Semi-palmated Sandpipers, Semi-palmated Plover, American Avocets, and other types.
Savannah Sparrow

Least Sandpiper

Semi-palmated Plover
A lot of the time I was looking through Christian's spotting scope, trying to identify the different species. I would have never been able to make out the different species without Christian's help.

Baird's Sandpiper

Baird's Sandpiper

Baird's Sandpiper
 We hiked a kilometer up a farm road, where the van could not go. We saw one or two Black-crowned Night Herons.
Black-crowned Night Heron

Green-winged Teal

American Coot
We continued on to another region of the lake. White-faced Ibis was one of the species on our list we want to see. After a while, we finally saw one!

White-faced Ibis

Lesser Yellowlegs

American Avocet in flight

American Avocet flock
 Here is a flock of avocets, and Long-billed Dowitchers.
American Avocets and Long-billed Dowitchers

Stilt Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

Sandpiper flock
Avocet flock

Franklin's Gull

Semi-palmated Sandpiper

Semi-palmated Sandpiper
 This is one is a juvenile dowitcher. Almost all of them were fall plumage.
Long-billed Dowitcher

American Avocet

Lesser Yellowlegs
 Then we came to deeper water, where there was coots.... lots.. and lots of coots. Thousands of American Coots. There were also grebes, and other ducks.
Eared Grebe (lifer)

Ruddy Duck (lifer)

Ruddy Duck

Eared Grebe


Western Grebe (lifer)

White-faced Ibis

immature Bald Eagle


 And this kids, is why you need to get your driver's licence. ;)

Great Egret was another bird we wanted to see. And we saw a few, very far away. Then, later, we found a few more, a bit closer, so we could make out something other than a tiny, tiny blotch of white.
Great Egret (lifer)

Red-tailed Hawk
 Another bird on our list was Cattle Egret (we saw a lot herons). We were successful with almost all the birds we wanted to see. We found some Cattle Egrets among the cattle (there was a reason they got their name).
Cattle Egret

Thank you again Christian, for taking us to Whitewater Lake, and helping us with identification! It is really helpful!