Most counts up from 2008 so far

Written by Mark Koneff
Sunday, May 31, 2009

Photo of Mark Koneff.We’re in Peawanuck, Ontario, on the shores of Hudson Bay at the mouth of the Winisk River. We completed the boreal forest of the Nickel Belt and Claybelt Regions as well as the southern James Bay Lowlands last week and, in general, breeding habitats were in good condition and counts of most duck species were up from 2008. After arriving in Peawanuck, we finished the northern James Bay Lowlands up to Cape Henrietta-Maria. Wetlands in this region were also in good condition, but conditions deteriorated in northern sections along the Hudson Bay where most water remained frozen. Good numbers of dabblers, divers, snow geese, and Canada geese were found aggregated on what little open water existed around the Cape. Yesterday, in Peawanuck (May 30) we received approximately 5 inches of fresh snow and strong winds caused drifting. Today we will remove drifts around the plane and fuel drums while waiting on crews to plow the runway. We have only the Hudson Bay Lowlands west of Peawanuck (to the Manitoba border) to complete.

Typical boreal lake and stream habitat.  Credit: G. Zimmerman (USFWS)

Boreal wetland. Credit: G. Zimmerman (USFWS)

Boreal lake.  Credit: G. Zimmerman (USFWS)

String bog at the southern extreme of the James Bay Lowlands. Credit: G. Zimmerman (USFWS)

Lesser snow geese on James Bay coastal mudflats. Credit: G. Zimmerman (USFWS)

James Bay Lowlands.  Credit:  G. Zimmerman (USFWS)

Colder than normal spring in northern Ontario and the Hudson Bay ice pack is still solid in late May. Credit: G. Zimmerman (USFWS)