Victor update and a little news from Bird World

11 August 2022

It was really quite a treat to get an update on Victor. It appears that he is improving but, not out of the woods yet.

My day to Hecla Island did not turn out quite like expected. I had left hoping that the water levels near Black Wolf trail were dry and that the parks staff had cleared the trails. This has not happened.

For those of you watching streaming cams, you are used to seeing the nests in trees. According to provincial parks staff at Hecla-Grindstone Provincial Parks, some do have nests in trees. Most, however, have their nests along the shore on the Black Wolf trail. Those nests were ruined by the extreme rain and flooding in our province. Because it is still too wet, the parks staff cannot even start to think about clearing. I might have said – one told me he is very worried about what he will find. A single Bald Eagle has been seen by some.

Not to be disappointed, the challenge came to see what birds I could find. Red-winged Blackbirds and Barn Swallows were constants.

On the road from the Black Wolf trail there was a turkey vulture in a tree. It flew off the minute the camera was ready! Of course.

There were two American White Pelicans.

Some Canada Geese.

There were a lot of Double-breasted Cormorants including some immatures. What a delight to see some youngsters.

There were four Trumpeter Swans – in two separate locations. I caught the white out of the corner of my eye. First thought was pelicans but when I went down a rather lonely and quite muddy road, it turned out they were swans. I could see no cygnets anywhere. Perhaps they were hiding.

There were ducks taking advantage of the still flooded fields and ditches just like the swans.

Things change. So tomorrow I will head back and give those eagles one more try but the real event came after I had returned to my hotel. My legs needed stretching and the ice cream stand across a small street had been beckoning to me ever since I arrived. It was a lovely late afternoon and I took that cone down to the marina to see the gulls. Then I stopped. About 6 metres in the air above the marina right in front of me was ‘the’ Osprey. He was hovering. I know that it was not several minutes but it felt like it. Tears just started rolling down my cheeks. It doesn’t matter how many Ospreys you see, they are always special. This is the closest I have been to one in the wild. What a moment. He did not see any fish and moved on but, nothing can surpass that time standing there watching an Osprey look for its fish dinner – not even a Bald Eagle.

I had hoped to write an extensive blog on migration for tomorrow. This will not happen until Monday now so you have time to send me what you think are big challenges to the birds as they make their fall travels. Every bird that I saw today will begin leaving Manitoba in about a week -some earlier and some later waiting until October.

Thank you so much for joining this evening. It is lovely to hear about Victor. Take care. See you soon!