Fort Whyte Center for Environmental Education
Our next stop was Fort Whyte Center for Environmental Education, south of Assiniboine Forest. This is a managed marshland with numerous areas of open water and quite a few captive ducks (so watch out). There is an entrance fee to be paid here.
On the way to Fort Whyte we had a Swainson's Hawk fly low directly over the car and our first Western Meadowlark whilst driving up McCready Road to the reserve entrance.
The largest lake at Fort Whyte is called Lake Devonian. On this lake we saw about 20 Franklin's Gulls, a pair of Ruddy Ducks and a pair of Western Grebes. The carpark is at one end of Lake Devonian and we had a female American Black Duck with four young and a Spotted Sandpiper at the lake edge. In a reed bed bordering some scrubby trees next to the carpark we had a singing Marsh Wren and two Brown Thrashers. As we walked to the main building's entrance we found three male and two female Brown-headed Cowbirds feeding next to the path.
Walking around Fort Whyte, we had more Clay-colored Sparrows, (Eastern) Warbling Vireos, Yellow Warblers and the worst clouds of mosquitoes so far. One of the larger pools, with reeds around most of its edge, held a colony of Yellow-headed Blackbirds. These are superb-looking birds and both male and female showed very well. The males had a tendency to chase off male Red-winged Blackbirds who in turn chased female Yellow-headed Blackbirds. Also here, in the reeds, we again heard and just about saw Marsh Wren. The only ducks I was sure of being wild were a male Blue-winged Teal and a female Hooded Merganser. As we left we had our first and only Black-billed Magpie of the trip.