Saturday, June 4, 2011

Marsh Monitoring Program

Back in February, I received an e-mail through ontbirds that was not the usual alert of a reportable bird in the province of Ontario. Bird Studies Canada was calling for volunteers to assist with the Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program. The program was established in 1995 and provides long-term monitoring of marsh birds and amphibians in marshes throughout the Great Lakes Basin. So with little hesitation and a brief discussion with my birding partner (she always finds the lifers first so it's best to include Jean), I sent a reply to the Ontario Volunteer Coordinator.

After reviewing a map of available marsh monitoring routes, I indicated that Jean and I were interested in monitoring birds in a marsh we are quite familiar with. The marsh is in Richardson's Creek and we have walked along the trail located in Port Dalhousie many times. We've seen Fox Sparrow in early April, warblers in the spring, Caspian Terns flying overhead and herons during warm summer evenings. It seemed a perfect spot to monitor marsh birds because it's not too large and was easily accessible.

In early April, we received an e-mail containing information on our assigned route and we went to check out the area Jean and I would monitor 2-3 times between May 20 and July 5.

All we needed after that was our survey material and then the real planning would begin.

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