Welcome! You are viewing an archived issue of SaskSecrets, Tourism Saskatchewan's Online Newsletter, from August 2008. To read the current issue of SaskSecrets, click here.
September is for Birdwatching
Saskatchewan's wide open prairies and big skies make it a bird watcher's paradise, and September is prime viewing season. There are many great birdwatching locations around the province; here are two to check out.
About 45 minutes west of Moose Jaw on the Trans-Canada #1 Highway is the town of Chaplin. A series of nearby lakes including Chaplin, Old Wives, Frederick and Reed, forms a complex that has been designated a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network site.
More than 30 species of shorebirds (some endangered) gather in numbers exceeding 100,000. Some are residents of the area, others have stopped to rest and refuel on their fall migratory journey.
Further west and not far off the #1 Highway you will find the town of Cabri. Nearby is an area centered around Galloway Bay and Miry Bay on the South Saskatchewan River, where thousands upon thousands of geese and ducks gather in late September and early October. This area attracts other species as well; birdwatchers have reported as many as 80 bald eagles in view on a single outing.
Another Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network site, in the Quill Lakes area, hosts upwards of a million birds annually. Big Quill Lake is the largest saline lake in Canada, and the region is a major breeding and staging area for 250,000 geese, 40,000 Sandhill Cranes, and up to 150,000 arctic-nesting shorebirds on their way south for the winter.
The Quill Lakes are located adjacent to the Trans-Canada #16 Yellowhead Highway near the town of Wynyard, about 100 kilometres/60 miles east of Saskatoon.
Begin planning your fall birding excursion by downloading your PDF copy of the Saskatchewan Birding Trail Experience from the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority.