Bird Watching: Rubber Boots, a Camera and a Smile

I have a love of nature that goes back to my early childhood. Last year, with the support of my family, I chose to return to school and study environmental science. I have heard that learning keeps us young, so understandably, this must be why I feel like a kid again.

I have a great respect for those that continue to support PEI’s on-going environmental efforts, so in May, I found myself eager to begin work with the Kensington North Watersheds Association. The learning began on the first day, and every day since then, I have gained a greater appreciation for the ongoing efforts of these essential community organizations. The summer crew has worked at re-building the biodiversity of the riparian zones, monitored water quality in our streams and ponds, participated in the Community Aquatic Monitoring Program in the estuaries, and more. We’ve spent numerous hours in our rubber boots throughout the wetlands and along the stream and rivers.

There have been many moments worth capturing with a camera, and I have been very happy to oblige. We’ve watched eagles soar, flowers bloom, fish return to habitat once abandoned, nests of eggs hatch, and I have personally hugged a number of trees, of which I can now more easily identify. The most enjoyment has come from unexpected … listening to what sounds like R2-D2 hiding in a grassy field (Bobolink), or trying to find what is making the bubble-popping sound in a canopy of trees (Raven), or the sound of an engine starting (the drumming of the Ruffed Grouse). I now understand why so many Islanders enjoy bird watching, and why it’s one of the fastest growing hobbies in our region. It feels like a treasure hunt. It is great fun to capture an image of the elusive Sora, or the stealthy flight of the Swallow, the silhouette of the Great Blue Heron or the curious nature of the Blackcapped Chickadee. Every novice birder on PEI can be taught to identify the flash of yellow among the shrubs as the Yellow Warbler.

If you have ever glanced out of your kitchen window or walked along our island beaches and come across a feathered friend that you’d like to learn know more about, we can help. The Kensington North Watersheds Association is inviting our community to help identify the bird species in our area. We are creating a list of sightings in our area that will be combined with provincial lists, to record the presence of different bird species during our time.

Should you wish to participate you may contact us with sighting details, such as: your name, date and time, species (if known), location of sighting, description of area (wetland, woodland, grassland, urban) weather, photo (if available) and any additional comments. For additional information, contact the KNWSA office at: You may also watch our Facebook page for information on how to enter data. [ed: You can use PEI Nature Tracker, which was created out of the wildlife sightings initiative that KNWSA had in 2014]

Jill Poirier

KNWSA Staff, Nature Enthusiast

About the Author

During the spring of 2014 Jill joined the KNWSA summer crew and enjoyed learning and working alongside our fantastic team of dedicated watershed advocates and fellow nature enthusiasts.

As she enjoys photography, Jill has created a KNWSA Summer Photo-Journal to share her experience with you. Should you be interested, please click here to take a peak at what they’ve discovered.

The article can be found online in The County Line Courier, Vol. 22, No. 13, Pg. 08.

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