Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Birding Workshop in Spaniard's Bay

Last Friday, 20 local residents and visitors from St. John's gathered in the Spaniard's Bay Legion to learn about local environmental issues and bird watching basics. The event was organized by Cathy Kleinwort, the Chair of the Joint Management Committee. The JMC is composed of members from the Town of Bay Roberts and Spaniard's Bay, and oversees the stewardship of the Shearstown Estuary, which forms a boundary between the two communities. 
The Shearstown Estuary



Suzanne Dooley of CPAWS




Birders gathering for a photo
Our guest speaker was Suzanne Dooley from CPAWS. Her talk on the Newfoundland and Labrador Shorebird Survey piqued the interest of several attendees, many of which are already avid observers of shorebirds on the local beaches. 

The bird watching hike was very successful, and we were fortunate to have the company of two experienced birders from Nature NL. The highlights were close-up shots of two bald eagles, a short-billed dowitcher (uncommon for the area) and a great show of an osprey diving for its dinner. You can check out the eBird checklist for the day here









A new culvert at work

A key feature of the birding hike was the newly placed culverts under the berm in the estuary. This project, orchestrated by the JMC, allows for greater flow of water and exchange of nutrients between the Bay and the wetland. Water that was stagnant before the culvert placement is now receiving an influx of oxygen. Long-time residents can already see a drastic improvement in water quality. 



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