National Roost Monitoring Program–
Night 1 Highlights
Thank you to everyone who managed to get out last night and monitor swifts in your towns and neighbourhoods. We have had some great feedback from a number of you and some intriguing patterns are developing across Manitoba.
Before moving to last night, a quick catch-up is needed with some monitoring which was not included in the last email update. Luc in Saint-Jean-Baptiste is where we should begin. Luc has been counting swifts in that chimney for few years but last Saturday he was the recipient of a completely new experience. I will leave Luc to tell the story:
‘Just for the records, I might have missed some entries because I was distracted during the count by two police officers. Someone in town called the police saying there was a stranger parked in the church area with binoculars… I have been in town for only 17 years… Anyway, after letting them know who I was (driver’s licence and all), what I was doing and describing chimney swifts, their nesting habits and the MCSI monitoring program, they left, laughing.’
Phew, good job Luc – and he had a single entry, possibly missing the second one due to distractions – there were 2 birds around earlier in the evening. On a related note though, we have factsheets available and copies of the windscreen notice if anyone should want these. Please let us know if you do.
David returned to Assiniboine School on Tuesday after his Monday no-show and counted 93 swifts. It certainly looks like we are beyond the peak of that large roost – but then again, who knows what the week might bring.
Speaking of large roosts, Ken in Dauphin had 6 birds enter the roost last night, a very low number for that site and again below the recent peak. Interestingly he did have a couple of extra birds which roosted elsewhere, a rare occurrence in Dauphin. Maybe there will be a nesting pair up there in 2017? Only time will tell. Ken also managed to recruit some local geocachers to watch the chimney last night – a creative way of trying to recruit new volunteers!
To Portage and Gord and Janice had pretty similar results to Saturday, 4 birds in the air and 1 in the old MTS building. No birds used the Red River College chimney which had recently been modified.
Frank and Jacquie are probably our most long distant travelers for monitoring driving from Winnipeg to Otterburne. They recorded use of all the Providence College chimneys with 5 birds in total spread across 3 chimneys. Barb and Rob also made a longer trek from their usual St Adolphe haunts to the wonders of Pembina Highway and the Rexall near the corner of McGillivray. Following a brief daylight entry in 2016 it was imperative to confirm use of this site in 2017 – and they did just that! Barb tells the story as:
Thank you to everyone who has submitted monitoring information so far and if you have more to add please let us know.