End of the Road – Conditions are Great

Written by Stephen D. Earsom
Thursday, May 26, 2011

Photo of Stephen D. Earsom.Yesterday afternoon we arrived in Moosonee, an interesting Cree village at the southern end of James Bay. It's the end of the road in more than one way. There are no highways connecting Moosonee to the rest of the country, so everything arrives by aircraft, boat, or train...and this is the end of the line for the train. For us, it marks the last stop on our migration northward. Perfect weather allowed us to complete the last of our surveys today, and we'll start home tomorrow.

Habitat conditions have been excellent throughout our survey area. From London to Ottawa to Sault Ste. Marie to Moosonee, all wetlands, creeks, beaver ponds and lakes have been full but not flooded, so the table is certainly set for an excellent year for breeding populations.

A coastal river in Northern Ontario.

A coastal river in Northern Ontario. Photo by Steve Earsom, USFWS

Snow and freezing rain followed by a night in the 20s left lots of frost to be removed before flight.  Fortunately for us the sun was bright, and turning the plane into the sun was all that was needed for a quick melt.

Snow and freezing rain followed by a night in the 20s left lots of frost to be removed before flight. Fortunately for us the sun was bright, and turning the plane into the sun was all that was needed for a quick melt. Photo by Steve Earsom, USFWS

Carl Ferguson (left) and Steve Earsom prior to departure from Moosonee on the last days of surveys.

Carl Ferguson (left) and Steve Earsom prior to departure from Moosonee on the last days of surveys. Photo by Ken Abraham, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

Ice break-up on James Bay.

Ice break-up on James Bay. Photo by Carl Ferguson, US FWS (retired)

Another view of ice breaking up on James Bay.

Another view of ice breaking up on James Bay. Photo by Steve Earsom, US FWS